In disorders of gut-brain interaction (DGBI), quality of life (QOL) decreases with increasing number of overlapping conditions, according to study findings published in Gastroenterology.

Researchers sourced data for this study from the Rome Foundation Global Epidemiology Survey, which recruited individuals residing in 33 countries. In this analysis, Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System Global-10 QOL outcomes were evaluated among a subset of individuals (N=54,127) from 26 countries with (n=23,293) or without (n=30,834) DGBI. A total of 5 esophageal, 7 gastroduodenal, 10 bowel, and 3 anorectal disorders were considered.

The cohorts with and without DGBI comprised individuals who had a mean age of 42.5 (SD, 15.4) and 44.7 (SD, 16.3) years, completed 14.9 (SD, 7.1) and 14.9 (SD, 7.1) years of education, and of whom 43.5% and 56.5% were men, respectively.

Continue Reading

Stratified by DGBI status, the highest physical and mental QOL scores were reported by individuals with no DGBI, followed by those with excessive belching and fecal incontinence whereas the lowest scores were reported by those with mixed irritable bowel syndrome, followed by functional dyspepsia.

Stratified by number of DGBI conditions, a negative relationship between the number of conditions from 0 to 4 or more and physical and mental QOL scores were observed (both P <.001).

In general, men reported higher mental and physical QOL scores regardless of DGBI status compared with women (all P <.001). Younger adults with DGBI reported higher physical QOL scores than those aged 40 to 64 years (P <.001), but lower mental QOL scores than those aged 65 years or older. Participants aged 40 to 64 years reported lower physical and mental QOL scores than those aged 65 years or older (both P <.001). A similar age-related pattern in mental QOL scores was observed in the non-DGBI group.

In an exploratory predictive analysis, decreased physical and mental QOL scores were predicted by age, gender, DGBI comorbidities, anxiety, depression, somatization, concern about bowel function, embarrassment about discussing bowel function, and the impact of stress on bowel function, which explained 41.2% and 42.5% of the variance in scores, respectively.

The results of this study may be biased as DGBI diagnoses were self-reported.

The study authors conclude, “After accounting for age, sex, and number of overlapping DBGI, poorer QoL was predicted by depression, anxiety, and somatic symptom severity scores, and the more negative functional experiences (concern, embarrassment, or stress associated with bowel functioning) relating to DGBI.”

Disclosure: Multiple authors declared affiliations with industry. Please refer to the original article for a full list of disclosures.


Knowles SR, Skvarc D, Ford AC, et al. Negative impact of disorders of gut-brain interaction on health-related quality of life: results from the rome foundation global epidemiology survey. Gastroenterology. 2022;S0016-5085(22)01393-2. doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2022.12.009

This article originally appeared on Gastroenterology Advisor