Irritable bowel syndrome: An international study of symptoms in eight countries

Charles D. Gerson, Mary Joan Gerson, Richard A. Awad, Abhijit Chowdhury, Christine Dancey, Pierre Poitras, Piero Porcelli, Ami Sperber, Wei An Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: This report is a preliminary comparative study of irritable bowel syndrome symptoms in eight countries, USA, Mexico, Canada, England, Italy, Israel, India, and China. We also assessed global symptom patterns and correlations and relationships to several psychosocial variables. Methods: Two hundred and thirty-nine participants completed a bowel symptom scale composed of four symptoms, abdominal pain or discomfort, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation as well as two psychosocial questionnaires, quality of relationship and attribution of symptoms to physical or emotional factors. Results: Pain score in Italy, with the least urban population, was significantly higher than six of the seven other countries whereas it was lowest in India and England. Bloating was highest in Italy and constipation was highest in Mexico, both significantly higher than five other countries. Diarrhea was higher in China than five other countries. All significance values were P <0.05. Globally, diarrhea was less common than constipation, P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-667
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


  • Cross-cultural
  • International
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms
  • Mind-body

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Hepatology


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