Abstract

Natural history and impact of irritable bowel syndrome-type symptoms in inflammatory bowel disease during 6 years of longitudinal follow-up

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2022 Aug 22. doi: 10.1111/apt.17193. Online ahead of print.

 

Keeley M Fairbrass 1P John Hamlin 1David J Gracie 1Alexander C Ford 1 2

 
     

Author information

1Leeds Gastroenterology Institute, St. James's University Hospital, Leeds, UK.

2Leeds Institute of Medical Research at St. James's, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.

Abstract

Background: The long-term natural history and impact of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)-type symptoms on outcomes in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are uncertain.

Aim: To assess this in a longitudinal follow-up study of patients in secondary care.

Methods: We assessed the natural history of IBS-type symptoms in IBD via Rome III criteria applied at baseline, and 2 and 6 years. We defined longitudinal disease activity as the need for glucocorticosteroids or flare, escalation, hospitalisation or intestinal resection. To assess healthcare utilisation, we recorded the number of outpatient clinic attendances and investigations. We also collected anxiety, depression and somatoform symptom scores and quality of life scores during follow-up.

Results: Among 125 individuals with Rome III data at all three time points, only 41 (32.8%) never reported IBS-type symptoms. Fifteen patients (12.0%) had IBS-type symptoms at baseline that resolved, 19 (15.2%) had fluctuating symptoms, 35 (28.0%) had new-onset symptoms and 15 (12.0%) had persistent symptoms. Among more than 300 patients with IBD activity data, IBS-type symptoms were not associated with an increased likelihood of the need for glucocorticosteroids or flare, escalation, hospitalisation or intestinal resection. However, the mean number of outpatient appointments and endoscopic investigations were significantly higher among those with IBS-type symptoms. Anxiety, depression and somatoform symptom scores were significantly higher, and quality of life scores were significantly lower, in those reporting IBS-type symptoms at least once during the study.

Conclusions: IBS-type symptoms affected more than two-thirds of patients with IBD during >6 years of follow-up and were associated with increased healthcare utilisation, and worse anxiety, depression, somatoform symptom and quality of life scores, but not adverse disease activity outcomes.

 

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