J Neurogastroenterol Motil.  2011 Jul;17(3):294-299.

Are Food Constituents Relevant to the Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Young Adults?: A Rome III Based Prevalence Study of the Korean Medical Students

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Kosin University, College of Medicine, Busan, Korea. mipark@ns.kosinmed.or.kr


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is prevalent in general population. This study investigates the prevalence of IBS in medical college students in Korea as well as the influence of dietary habits and nutritional intake on IBS.
This study is a cross-sectional study of 319 students (239 males and 80 females, age 22.3 +/- 2.5 years) from the 6 grade levels of the Medical College in Korea. All students filled out a self-reported questionnaire for ROME III criteria. They also completed a questionnaire to validate dietary habits and food frequency in Korean.
The overall prevalence of IBS was 29.2% without correlation to age, body mass index and grade level in Medical School. However, the prevalence was significantly higher in females than males (33/80 vs 60/239, P = 0.007). There were no significant differences between the IBS-group and the non-IBS group in aspect of nutrition. Not only the diet habits, but also the daily nutritional intake, and even the breakdown into the 12 micronutrients, yielded no significant differences between the 2 groups.
Twenty-nine percent of the medical college students have IBS with a greater prevalence in females. The dietary habits and nutritional intake of the students might not be associated with IBS.


Food habits; Irritable bowel syndrome; Prevalence
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