Bloating is a common and bothersome gastrointestinal symptom. Despite its high prevalence, associated costs, and effects on the quality of life, very few studies have reported the epidemiology of bloating in Iran. Through this systematic review, findings and limitations of the current research will be discussed.
In March 2012, we searched PubMed, Google Scholar, Scientific Information Database, IranMedex, and Magiran to find articles for inclusion in the study. Two of the authors screened the articles on the basis of titles and abstracts. The full manuscripts of these publications were then evaluated according to the predefined criteria.
Fifteen articles were included in the study, and data regarding the prevalence of bloating were extracted. The studies depict a prevalence of 1.5% to 8.8% for bloating in the Iranian population. Two studies reported the prevalence of functional bloating to be 1.5% and 10% according to the Rome III and Rome II criteria, respectively. Female to male ratio remains ≥1 for most of the studies criteria.
In Iran, data on the prevalence of bloating are limited, and have mostly been gathered from a highly selective population. The results of the present study advocate the necessity to perform further studies on the general population, which may help health policy makers in the allocation of the appropriate resources.