Prevalence and Associated Factors of Bloating: Results From the Rome Foundation Global Epidemiology Study

Sarah Ballou, Prashant Singh, Judy Nee, Vikram Rangan, Johanna Iturrino, Grace Geeganage, Bernd Löwe, Shrikant I. Bangdiwala, Olafur S. Palsson, Ami D. Sperber, Anthony Lembo, Marco Lehmann

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Background & Aims: Bloating is a common symptom in the general population and among disorders of gut–brain interaction, although its prevalence has not been well characterized. The aim of this study was to report the prevalence of bloating as a symptom in the worldwide population and to identify factors associated with this symptom in the general population. Methods: Rome Foundation Global Epidemiology Study internet survey data were analyzed. After excluding respondents with potential organic causes of bowel symptoms, the current analysis included 51,425 individuals in 26 countries. Data included diet, medical history, quality of life, and Rome IV diagnostic questions. Presence of bloating was defined as experiencing bloating at least once per week for the last 3 months. Descriptive statistics estimated prevalence by country, region, and disorder of gut–brain interaction diagnosis. Logistic regression evaluated predictors of bloating. Results: Nearly 18% of the global study population reported bloating (ranging from 11% in East Asia to 20% in Latin America). Prevalence decreased with age and women were approximately twice as likely as men to report bloating. More than one-half of respondents who reported weekly epigastric pain (71.39%), nausea (59.7%), or abdominal pain (61.69%) also reported bloating at least once per week. In logistic regression, the strongest associations were with abdominal pain (odds ratio, 2.90) and epigastric pain (odds ratio, 2.07). Conclusions: Bloating is common throughout the world. Nearly 18% of the general population experience bloating at least once per week. Reported bloating prevalence is lower in older age groups, most common in women, and strongly associated with abdominal pain.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)647-655.e4
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - 1 Sep 2023


    • Distention
    • Epidemiology
    • Functional Bowel Disorders
    • Irritable Bowel Syndrome

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Gastroenterology
    • Hepatology


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