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Negative Events During Adulthood in Patients with IBS

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol; ePub 2019 Jan 4; Parker, et al

Negatively perceived adulthood life events are associated with an increased risk for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), worse symptom severity and quality of life, and a dysregulated stress response. This according to a study of >200 participants in which researchers studied 129 patients with IBS (mean age 28.1 years, 66% women), and 108 healthy individuals (controls; mean age 29.8 years, 60% women) who completed the Life Experiences Survey from August 2013 to September 2017. They found:

  • Compared with controls, patients with IBS perceived more adulthood life events as negative and had a significantly higher negative life event impact score.
  • In patients with IBS, the presence of more negatively perceived adulthood life events was associated with worse IBS symptom severity and IBS-related quality of life.
  • Negatively perceived adulthood life events were associated with reduced production of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) in response to corticotrophin-releasing factor in those with IBS vs controls.


Parker CH, Naliboff BD, Shih W, et al. Negative events during adulthood are associated with symptom severity and altered stress response in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. [Published online ahead of print January 4, 2019]. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. doi:10.1016/j.cgh.2018.12.029.