Factor Analysis of the Rome IV Criteria for Major Disorders of Gut-Brain Interaction (DGBI) Globally and Across Geographical, Sex, and Age Groups

Jóhann P. Hreinsson, Hans Törnblom, Jan Tack, Douglas A. Drossman, William E. Whitehead, Shrikant I. Bangdiwala, Ami D. Sperber, Olafur S. Palsson, Magnus Simrén

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Background & Aims: The Rome criteria are widely accepted for diagnosing disorders of gut-brain interaction, but their global applicability has been debated. This study aimed to evaluate the validity of the Rome IV criteria by factor analysis globally, across geographical regions, by sex, and by age groups. Methods: Data were collected in 26 countries using the Rome IV questionnaire. Forty-nine ordinal variables were used in exploratory factor analysis (EFA) to identify clusters of inter-correlated variables (factors) within the data set. Confirmatory factor analysis with predefined factors of the disorders of gut-brain interaction was compared with the factors in the EFA. Analyses were performed globally, for each geographical region (North and Latin America, Western and Eastern Europe, Middle East, Asia), sex, and age groups (18–34, 35–49, 50–64, ≥65). Results: A total of 54,127 people were included. The EFA identified 10 factors accounting for 57% of the variance: irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, upper gastrointestinal symptoms, globus, regurgitation/retching, chest pain, nausea/vomiting, and 2 right upper quadrant pain factors. Most factors had close correspondence to a Rome IV criteria diagnosis, but notably, functional dysphagia and heartburn symptoms were often included in the same factor and/or in upper gastrointestinal symptoms. Most factors were consistent across geographical regions, sex, and age groups, and compatible to the global results. All prespecified factors in the confirmatory analysis had a loading ≥0.4, indicating validity of the Rome IV criteria. Conclusions: The results indicate that the Rome IV criteria for irritable bowel syndrome, functional dyspepsia, functional constipation, globus, and biliary pain are globally valid and represent universal diagnostic entities that are similar across sex and age groups.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1211-1222
    Number of pages12
    Issue number7
    StatePublished - 1 Jun 2023


    • Functional Gastrointestinal Diseases

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Gastroenterology
    • Hepatology


    Dive into the research topics of 'Factor Analysis of the Rome IV Criteria for Major Disorders of Gut-Brain Interaction (DGBI) Globally and Across Geographical, Sex, and Age Groups'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this