According to Rome IV criteria, functional dyspepsia (FD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are distinct functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID); however, overlap of these conditions is common in population-based studies, but clinical data are lacking.
To determine the overlap of FD and IBS in the clinical setting and define risk factors for the overlap of FD/IBS.
A total of 1127 consecutive gastroenterology outpatients of a tertiary center were recruited and symptoms assessed with a standardized validated questionnaire. Patients without evidence for structural or biochemical abnormalities as a cause of symptoms were then categorized based upon the symptom pattern as having FD, IBS or FD/IBS overlap. Additionally, this categorization was compared with the clinical diagnosis documented in the integrated electronic medical records system.
A total of 120 patients had a clinical diagnosis of a FGID. Based upon standardized assessment with a questionnaire, 64% of patients had FD/IBS overlap as compared to 23% based upon the routine clinical documentation. In patients with severe IBS or FD symptoms (defined as symptoms affecting quality of life), the likelihood of FD/IBS overlap was substantially increased (OR = 3.1; 95%CI 1.9-5.0) and (OR = 9.0; 95%CI 3.5-22.7), respectively. Thus, symptom severity for IBS- or FD symptoms were significantly higher for patients with FD/IBS overlap as compared to patients with FD or IBS alone (p all < 0.01). Age, gender and IBS-subtype were not associated with overlap.
In the clinical setting, overlap of FD and IBS is the norm rather than the exception. FD/IBS overlap is associated with a more severe manifestation of a FGID.