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GI-Digestive Demographics & Statistics

4 in 10 Adults May Be Living With A Gastrointestinal Disorder

3 weeks, 6 days ago

1339  0
Posted on Jun 05, 2020, 4 p.m.

At some point in their lives everyone deals with an upset stomach, for some these issues do not go away quickly and they can affect their quality of life. A recent study published in the journal Gastroenterology suggests that these disorders are common and nearly half of all adults around the globe are living with gastrointestinal disorders.

According to this study involving over 73,000 people from 33 countries, over 4 in 10 adults around the globe are dealing with gastrointestinal disorders; and nearly half of the women in the survey were found to have at least one functional gastrointestinal disorder. 

“It’s striking how similar the findings are between countries. We can see some variations but, in general, these disorders are equally common whatever the country or continent,” Magnus Simrén from the University of Gothenburg said in a statement.

The participants responding to the web based surveys had a significantly higher rate of FGIDs compared to those questioned in person during interviews. 

“We don’t know why we’re seeing this difference, but one reason might be that people think it’s embarrassing to talk about stomach and bowel symptoms to someone sitting in front of them,” Simrén theorized.

Participants from 24 countries, including America, answered questions via web based programs, and 7 countries including India and Indonesia answered questions during in person interviews to gather data for this study.

Functional gastrointestinal disorders can affect different places throughout the gastrointestinal tract such as in the esophagus and stomach where patients can suffer heartburn, acid reflux, or indigestion. Constipation, bloating, or IBS can cause chronic discomfort in the intestines. 

Respondents reported a wide variety of disorders running from mild pain to functional gastrointestinal disorders that had a severe impact on their daily lives. Those with an FGID were revealed to have had to go to a physician or take medications more often than other adults without stomach issues, and those with functional gastrointestinal disorders were more likely to undergo surgery. 

The report supports others that suggest that the trend of adults living with more functional gastrointestinal disorders is increasing. The researchers suggest that more testing is required to find treatments for these conditions which are commonly found in adults all around the globe. 

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