Irritable bowel syndrome in adolescents in Lagos
Introduction: irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) which has been well described in western populations especially as the commonest cause of recurrent abdominal pain The aim of this study was to document the prevalence of Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) amongst children in western Nigeria and increase the aware ness of IBS amongst physicians who manage children with abdominal pain. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted amongst children aged 10-18 years in 8 schools located in two local government areas of Lagos state. A multistage stratified random-sampling survey was conducted using the validated Rome III criteria to assess for IBS and associated risk factors. The subtypes of IBS and associated extra-intestinal symptoms were also documented. Results: The prevalence of IBS was 16.0% in the study participants and the prevalence decreased with increasing age (p=0.05). Sixty two (62.5%) of the students with recurrent abdominal pain had IBS. IBS was more prevalent in the females compared to the males (p=0.000). The significant risk factors for IBS identified were gender (p=0.000), socioeconomic status (p=0.001) and past history of gastroenteritis (p=0.011). The commonest subtype of IBS seen was the alternating subtype. Conclusion: IBS is prevalent in African children. Physicians who attend to children need to have a high index of suspicion for IBS in children who present with abdominal pain when there are no alarm symptoms. The need for further longitudinal studies in African children cannot be overemphasized.