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Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Women Are More Seriously Affected Than Men





Am J Gastroenterol. 2006 Dec 11; [Epub ahead of print]


A Population-Based Case-Control Study of Work and Psychosocial Problems in Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome-Women Are More Seriously Affected Than Men.


Faresjo A, Grodzinsky E, Johansson S, Wallander MA, Timpka T, Akerlind I. Department of Social Medicine and Public Health Science Linkoping University, Linkoping, Sweden.


OBJECTIVE: Everyday psychosocial functioning and quality of life are known to be reduced for patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), but few previous studies have analyzed associations with functioning in working life. Accordingly, we examined perceptions of working conditions, functioning in the workplace, quality of life, and psychological complaints among IBS patients compared with age- and sex-matched controls. METHODS: A case-control study design was used based on 347 IBS patients from Swedish general practice who were compared with age- and sex-matched controls (N = 1,041) randomly selected from the general population. A survey was performed including validated questions concerning job strain, quality of life (SF-36 [Short Form 36]), absence because of illness, depression, anxiety, and sleeping habits. RESULTS: The IBS patients reported considerably more often that their daily performance in working life was affected by their gastrointestinal problems (OR [odds ratio] 7.14, 95% CI 5.45-9.36). Male IBS cases only reported less authority regarding decisions on their working pace (OR 5.44, 95% CI 1.28-23.18), while female IBS patients reported less decision authority regarding planning their work (OR 2.29, 95% CI 1.13-4.64), fewer learning opportunities at work (OR 2.12, 95% CI 1.26-3.57), and more long-term sick leave than their controls (OR 3.70, 95% CI 1.94-7.07). The female IBS cases also reported lower quality of life in all dimensions than their controls. CONCLUSION: In particular, female IBS patients reported lower authority over decisions at work and problems in their daily functioning in the workplace. These associations persisted after adjustments for possible confounders such as mood, sleeping problems, and perceived health.


PMID: 17156145 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]


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