General Public Is in the Dark About IBS

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

Results of a recent survey of 1014 US adults that was designed toassess the public perception of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and itsprevalence and impact on society were reported in the May 2004 issue ofthe Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology. The survey found that only 1.2%of respondents thought that IBS (with an estimated prevalence of up to20%) affected more Americans than did asthma (estimated prevalence,9.0%), coronary heart disease (estimated prevalence, 5.9%), diabetes(estimated prevalence, 5.3%), or depression (estimated prevalence, 5%).Only 8.6% of respondents believed that IBS is the second leading cause ofwork or school absenteeism. Study author G. Nicholas Verne, MD, concludesthat these findings demonstrate the gap between public perceptionand reality and reinforce the need for public IBS educational initiatives.