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Korean Journal of Epidemiology 2007;29(1): 21-33.
Prevalence and risk factors of irritable bowel syndrome in Korean high school students.
Kyung Tae Lee, Jaehyun Yoo, Bo Kyoung Kim, Hae Kwan Cheong
1Department of Medicine, Sungkyunkwan University School ofMedicine.
2Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, SungkyunkwanUniversity School of Medicine. hkcheong@skku.edu
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is prevalent in the general population, but there are few reports on bowel habits and IBS in high school students in Korea. This study aims to describe the prevalence of IBS in high school students in Korea and to investigate the influence of lifestyle factors including dietary habits, on the IBS. This study also investigates relationship between anxiety, depression and IBSprevalence. SUBJECTS AND
This study is a cross-sectional study on 1,018 students (451 males and 567 females) form freshman to senior of a high schools in Seoul. All students were requested to fill in a self-reported questionnaire. IBS was diagnosed based on the Rome II criteria. Those having past medical history of organic gastrointestinal disorders and any one of the 'alarm factors'(e.g. continuous hematochezia, weight loss, or anemic symptom) were excluded from the IBS group. For the evaluation of risk factors on the IBS, we surveyed dietary habit, health behavior, past medical history, the Hollingshed index for the measurement of socioeconomic status, Beck's Anxiety Inventory for the anxiety, and the Children's Depression Inventory for the depression.
The prevalence of IBS was 19.1%. Family history of abdominal discomfort (odds ratio 2.07, 95% 1.46-2.92) and having night snack (odds ratio 1.46, 95% CI 1.09-1.94) were significantly different between the IBS group and non-IBS group. There was a linear trend towards the higher prevalence of IBS with fewer hours of exercise (odds ratio 0.99, 95% CI 0.95-1.04). Menstruation, stress, and irregular eating were the significant provocation factors of IBS. Anxiety and depression was not significantly higher in in the IBS group.
Prevalence of the IBS in high school students from this study was higher compared with those reported in college students in Korea. This study shows that family history, dietary factors, lifestyle, and grade were significantly related to IBS. From our study, we found that there are multifaceted health aspects required to reduce symptoms, such as dietary education and encouragement to change lifestyle for controlling stress.
Keywords: Irritable bowel syndrome; Prevalence; Provocation factor; Risk factor; Depression; Anxiety; Adolescence


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