Sleep problems prevalent in functional gastrointestinal disorders

28 Jul 2021
Sleep problems prevalent in functional gastrointestinal disorders

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and functional dyspepsia (FD), along with most of their major subtypes except constipation-predominant IBS, appear to go hand in hand with a range of sleep disturbances, as reported in a study.

The study included adults randomly selected from a region in New South Wales in Australia. They participated in a follow-up mail survey (response rate, 60.5 percent) that contained questions on IBS, FD, sleep (Medical Outcomes Study [MOS] Sleep Scale), and psychological distress (Kessler 6 scale).

In the overall population, 10.4 percent of the participants (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 8.8–12.2) met the Rome III criteria for IBS while 17.9 percent (95 percent CI, 15.9-20.1) met that of FD. The prevalence of any sleep disturbance most of the time was common overall, as well as higher among individuals with functional gastrointestinal disorders vs the rest of the population (41.8 percent vs 32.2 percent; p=0.003).

Multivariable logistic regression analysis confirmed that the total sleep problem index was significantly higher in both the IBS (IBS-diarrhoea predominant and IBS-mixed but not IBS-C; odds ratio [OR], 1.71, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.29–2.27; p<0.0001) and FD (epigastric pain syndrome and postprandial distress syndrome; OR, 1.80, 95 percent CI, 1.43–2.26; p<0.0001) groups. These estimates were adjusted for age, sex, and psychological distress.

The findings suggest that sleep problems are not likely to be explained by psychological factors but may play an independent role in the pathophysiology of functional gastrointestinal disorders.

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