March 21, 2020
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Endometriosis in adolescents, women linked with IBS

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A recent study revealed a correlation between endometriosis and irritable bowel syndrome among adolescents and women with and without endometriosis.

“Increased provider awareness and screening for IBS and endometriosis will improve patient outcomes and increase our understanding of these complex disorders,” Amy D. DiVasta, MD, MMSc, from the Boston Center for Endometriosis, Boston Children’s Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital, the division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine from the Department of Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and colleagues wrote.

“The presence of acyclic pelvic pain was a strong predictor of the likelihood of IBS in participants both with and without endometriosis,” they added. “Based on our research, this is the largest adolescent study to demonstrate greater odds of endometriosis in patients with IBS.”

Researchers used data from the Women’s Health Study: Adolescence to Adulthood, which included 224 adolescents with surgically confirmed endometriosis and 99 participants without known endometriosis. All patients completed a health questionnaire. Patients with IBS, based on self-reported diagnosis or who met Rome IV diagnostic criteria, were classified as cases and participants without IBS comprised the control group. The assessment included 323 patients without concurrent gastrointestinal disorders or missing pain data. Unconditional logistic regression was used to calculate adjusted odds ratios.

More adolescent patients with endometriosis had comorbid IBS (54 of 224 patients) vs. those without endometriosis (7 of 99 patients). Patients with endometriosis had a 5.26-fold higher risk for IBS (95% CI, 2.13-13). Compared with girls with no/mild pain, girls with severe acyclic pelvic pain had higher odds for IBS; 35.7-fold higher in girls without endometriosis (95% CI, 4.67-272.6) and 12-fold higher in girls with endometriosis (95% CI, 4.2-36.3). As the acyclic pain severity increased by one point, the odds for IBS increased by 31% for patients with endometriosis (adjusted odds ratio = 1.31; 95% CI, 1.18-1.47). – by Monica Jaramillo

Disclosure: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.