Epidemiology of Irritable Bowel Syndrome; A Systematic Review of Literature


  • Maha Alosaimi
  • Anna Ali
  • Hira Abdul Razzak


Irritable Bowel Syndrome, risk factors, Arab, Prevalence, Epidemiology, and Incidence


Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) considerably represents a great public health threat to the nation. It is a “functional gastrointestinal disorder†characterized by discomfort, pain in abdomen and altered intestinal motility, during the absences of any organic disorder. Limited evidences exists in terms of occurrence and determinants, with respect to the epidemiology of IBS in Arab countries. Therefore, this study aims to systematically explore previous evidences related to the incidence, prevalence, and natural history of IBS in Arab world. A literature search was commenced on PubMed, and CINAHL databases by using relevant keywords in order to retrieve studies conducted in the Arab world concerning the epidemiology of IBS. A total of 12 studies were selected after screening 35 articles. These studies were further appraised and reviewed systematically. Of the 35 articles evaluated, seven studies included cross-sectional study design with a prevalence ranging from 8.9% to 31.8%. Studies pertaining to the prognostic markers/risk factors were solely conducted in clinical–setting. Genetic expressions of various parasite (e.g. Dientamoeba fragilis), behavioral habit (emotional stress, anxiety) and viral infections (Hepatitis C virus and Hepatitis B) were amongst the investigated factors. Evidence extracted from these studies demonstrates a potential link between IBS and stress, HBV, HCV infections and co-occurrence of tension headache. The IBS pathogenesis is not yet fully understood due to limited evidence from population-based studies. Future research are warranted in the community based settings of the Arab world in order to identify the real burden of this disease at population level, to improve treatment strategies for IBS patients, and investigate its preventable risk factors.



How to Cite

Alosaimi, M., Ali, A., & Abdul Razzak, H. (2016). Epidemiology of Irritable Bowel Syndrome; A Systematic Review of Literature. Journal of Health Informatics in Developing Countries, 10(1). Retrieved from https://www.jhidc.org/index.php/jhidc/article/view/150



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