The prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) varies from 4% to 20% in different Asian nations. Prevalence of IBS in native North Indian community is not known.
Between November 2008 to December 2009, we estimated the prevalence of IBS in a rural community of Ballabgarh block, located in Haryana state. A structured questionnaire based on Rome III module was used to collect symptoms related to IBS from all the participants in a door to door survey. A Rome III criterion was used for diagnosis of IBS. IBS was further classified based on predominance of symptoms as constipation predominant, diarrhea predominant, mixed and unspecified based on Rome III module.
There were 4,767 participants (mean age 34.6 ± 10.8, males 50%). Overall, 555 (11.6%; 95% CI, 10.7-12.5) had constipation, 542 (11.4%; 95% CI, 10.5-12.3) diarrhea and 823 (17.3%; 95% CI, 16.2-18.4) abdominal pain. The overall prevalence of IBS was 4% (95% CI, 3.5-4.6). The prevalence of constipation predominant IBS was 0.3% (95% CI, 0.16-0.49), diarrhea predominant IBS 1.5% (95% CI, 1.18-1.90), mixed IBS 1.7% (95% CI, 1.35-2.11) and unsubtyped IBS 0.5% (95% CI, 0.32-0.75). The prevalence of IBS was significantly higher in females compared with males (4.8% vs 3.2%, P = 0.008). However, there was no significant difference between males and females in the prevalence of different subtypes of IBS. The prevalence increased with age.
The prevalence of IBS in a North Indian community is 4%. IBS poses a significant burden on the rural adults.