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Extra-intestinal manifestations associated with irritable bowel syndrome: a twin study
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Family Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology.
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2002 (English)In: Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, ISSN 0269-2813, E-ISSN 1365-2036, Vol. 16, no 5, 975-983 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


Little is known about the role of genetic and environmental factors in irritable bowel syndrome. Various extra-intestinal manifestations are more prevalent in cases than in controls. Genetic effects may be important in the liability to develop functional bowel disorders.


To evaluate the associations of irritable bowel syndrome with several disorders co-morbid with the condition, using both a case-control design and a co-twin control design.


A sample of 850 Swedish twin pairs, aged 18-85 years, was contacted for a telephone interview. Through a diagnostic algorithm, 72 unrelated cases of irritable bowel syndrome and 216 age- and gender-matched controls were identified. Fifty-eight twin pairs discordant for irritable bowel syndrome were evaluated in co-twin analyses.


Renal problems (odds ratio (OR)=3.3; confidence interval (CI), 1.3-8.2), obesity (OR=2.6; CI, 1.0-6.4), underweight in the past (OR=2.4; CI, 1.1-6.4), gluten intolerance (OR=9.0; CI, 1.4-60.1), rheumatoid arthritis (OR=3.2; CI, 1.1-9.4) and poor self-rated health (OR=1.8; CI, 1.0-3.2) were significantly associated with irritable bowel syndrome. In the co-twin analyses, the only factors maintaining significance were renal and recurrent urinary tract problems.


The association between irritable bowel syndrome and renal and urinary tract problems does not reflect a genetic or familial mediation. Eating disorders in childhood represent a familial-environmental influence on irritable bowel syndrome, whereas the association with rheumatoid arthritis and perhaps gluten intolerance probably reflects genetic mediation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 16, no 5, 975-983 p.
Keyword [en]
Adult, Aged, Case-Control Studies, Colonic Diseases; Functional/diagnosis/*epidemiology/physiopathology, Comorbidity, Female, Humans, Logistic Models, Male, Middle Aged, Prevalence, Research Support; Non-U.S. Gov't, Research Support; U.S. Gov't; P.H.S., Sweden/epidemiology, Twins; Dizygotic, Twins; Monozygotic
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-83143DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2036.2002.01254.xPubMedID: 11966507OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-83143DiVA: diva2:111050
Available from: 2006-10-19 Created: 2006-10-19 Last updated: 2011-10-20Bibliographically approved

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Wallander, Mari-Ann
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