Stress and a sedentary lifestyle are associated with irritable bowel syndrome in medical students from Peru: A cross-sectional study

George Vasquez-Rios, Jorge D. Machicado, Ray Ticse, Eloy F. Ruiz, Maria T. Gamero, Adriana Pezua, Luis A. Marcos, Martin Tagle

Research output: Contribution to journalOriginal Articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background Previous studies suggest that medical students may have higher rates of irritable bowel syndrome as compared to the general population. We hypothesized lifestyle characteristics may be associated to irritable bowel syndrome. Methods A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2015 among students in their fourth, fifth, sixth and seven years of a medical school in Peru. Volunteer participants responded to questions pertaining to demographics, surveys including the Rome III criteria and the Self-reported Stress questionnaire. Regression models were performed to establish variables independently associated with irritable bowel syndrome. Results Out of 452 students, 346 responded the survey (response rate: 76.5%; female rate: 47%; median age: 22 years). The irritable bowel syndrome prevalence in respondents was 9.5% (95% confidence interval: 6.7%-13.1%). On univariate analysis, being a senior medical student (odds ratio: 2.8; 95% confidence interval: 1.3-5.9; P < 0.01), mental illness (odds ratio: 3.3; 95% confidence interval: 1.6-6.8; P = 0.002), psychiatric medication use (odds ratio: 2.8; 95% confidence interval: 1.4-5.9; P = 0.005), sedentary lifestyle (odds ratio: 4.4; 95% confidence interval: 1.8-11; P = 0.001) and stress (odds ratio: 4.4; 95% confidence interval: 2.1-9.3; P < 0.001) were associated to irritable bowel syndrome. On a multivariate analysis, a sedentary lifestyle (odds ratio: 3.2; 95% confidence interval: 1.25-8.20; P = 0.01) and stress (odds ratio: 3.0; 95% confidence interval: 1.35-6.67; P < 0.01) were independently associated with irritable bowel syndrome. Conclusion The prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome in medical students from Peru is slightly lower compared to the global prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome. Stress and a sedentary lifestyle were independent risk factors associated with irritable bowel syndrome. Our study suggests that lifestyle modifications and stress coping techniques could have an impact to reduce the rates of irritable bowel syndrome in medical students.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1322-1327
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume31
Issue number11
DOIs
StateIndexed - 1 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Peru
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • life stress
  • medical students
  • sedentary lifestyle

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