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ACG: Childhood and Adult Traumas Linked to Adult IBS

Last Updated: November 02, 2011.

Childhood and adult traumas are more common in adults with irritable bowel syndrome, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology, held from Oct. 28 to Nov. 2 in Washington, D.C.

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Childhood and adult traumas are more common in adults with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology, held from Oct. 28 to Nov. 2 in Washington, D.C.

Yuri Saito-Loftus, M.D., M.P.H., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues investigated whether childhood and/or adult trauma correlated with adult IBS, and identified the characteristics of the trauma that correlated with IBS. Individuals who had previously participated in a large family case-control study were recontacted. A total of 430 cases (447 controls, 827 case-relatives, and 921 control-relatives) who agreed to participate in the study were mailed the Early Trauma Inventory Self Report with 27 types of trauma. The overall trauma scores and subscale-general trauma, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse (SA) scores were compared between cases and controls and their respective relatives.

The investigators found that, compared to controls, cases reported more traumas over a lifetime (median, 7.0 versus 4.0 traumas). Traumas were equally common before and after 18 years of age. All forms of trauma were more likely to be reported by cases except being burned, experiencing death of a friend, observing a murder, and specific sexual encounters. Trauma scores were not significantly different between relatives of cases and controls. All trauma scores, except SA score, were higher in case-relatives with IBS than unaffected case- and control-relatives.

"The above confirms that psychological and physical stressors experienced over a lifetime may contribute to adult IBS," the authors write.

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