IBS and Men?Does Being Male Offer Protection?
In many communities, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is morecommon in women than in men. In fact, in the United States,women are twice as likely as men to have IBS. Reasons for thissex-related discrepancy, however, are unclear.
In the August 2004 issue of Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology,Vivien Miller, MSc, and colleagues reported theresults of their study that examined male and female traits of70 consecutive, male, secondary care outpatients fulfillingRome I diagnostic criteria for IBS and 70 matched controls. Avalidated questionnaire designed to measure male and femaletraits and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale wereadministered to all study participants. Results showed thatmale patients with IBS have significantly lower male traitscores than do controls (94.3 ± 16.3 vs 104.8 ± 14.4; P < .001),even when scores are adjusted for age (patients with IBS, 94.6;controls, 104.5; P < .001).
The authors concluded that men with IBS exhibit fewer malecharacteristics than do men without IBS. They advised thatadditional work is needed to determine whether this finding is acause or an effect of IBS.