Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 383-390

The prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome among Saudi population in Riyadh by use of Rome IV criteria and self-reported dietary restriction

1 Department of Family and Community Medicine, Member of Chair of Medical Education Research and Development, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Hussein S Amin
Department of Family and Community Medicine, Dept. 19, College of Medicine, King Saud University, PO Box 7805, Riyadh 11472
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjg.sjg_43_21

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Background: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most prevalent functional gastrointestinal disorder. Diet may play a role in triggering the symptoms. We aimed to measure the prevalence of IBS and its types, and its association with food restrictions among the Saudi population, using the Rome IV criteria. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in the outpatient clinics of three major hospitals in Riyadh in conjunction with an electronic survey which was shared on social media. A total of 1,319 subjects (706 males and 613 females) completed a questionnaire of four domains (sociodemography, Rome IV, food restriction, and herbs) between Nov 2019 and February 2020. Convenience sampling was used. Results: IBS was diagnosed in 104 subjects (7.9%) and, of these, 52% were IBS-M (mixed) type. The prevalence was higher in women than in men (4.9% vs. 3.0%; P = 0.006). A significant association was found between the presence of IBS symptoms and low income (P = 0.010), and not working (P < 0.0001). Most of the IBS patients showed food restriction related to milk (P < 0.0001) and legumes (P = 0.0029), besides other types of food and drinks. Conclusions: IBS is less common among the Saudi population. A female gender, low family income, and working status, have the highest association with IBS. The foods most often restricted were legumes and milk. Future community studies may present an opportunity to relate with cultural differences and food preferences.

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