Sex- and gender-related differences in the prevalence and burden of disorders of gut-brain interaction in Poland

Agata Mulak, Tamar Freud, Marek Waluga, Shrikant I. Bangdiwala, Olafur S. Palsson, Ami D. Sperber

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Background: The aim of the study was to assess sex- and gender-related differences in the epidemiology and impact of disorders of gut–brain interaction (DGBI) in Poland. Methods: Data used for the current analysis were derived from the Polish population sample of 2057 subjects (1030 F, 1027 M) collected via the Internet survey that included the Rome IV diagnostic questionnaire and 80 supplementary questions. Key Results: The overall prevalence of DGBI in Poland was 46.0% (51.7% in women and 40.3% in men, p < 0.001). Comparing women versus men, esophageal disorders were observed in 6.3% vs. 6.0%, respectively (p > 0.05), gastroduodenal disorders in 14.0% vs. 7.8% (p < 0.001), bowel disorders in 44.3% vs. 33.9% (p < 0.001), and anorectal disorders in 9.9% vs. 7.7% (p > 0.05). The six most common DGBI included functional constipation 14.2%, functional dyspepsia 8.3%, proctalgia fugax 6.6%, functional bloating 4.8%, functional diarrhea 4.5%, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) 4.4%. All these disorders, except for functional diarrhea, were more common in women. The DGBI overlap was significantly higher in women than in men (16.7% vs. 11.2%, p < 0.001). A higher number of overlapping DGBI correlated positively with IBS severity, higher level of somatization, anxiety and depression, poorer quality of life (QoL), and increased healthcare utilization. Conclusions and Inferences: This is the first comprehensive report on significant sex/gender-related differences in the prevalence and burden of DGBI in Poland. The revealed differences between women and men with DGBI in the clinical profile, psychosocial variables, and healthcare utilization may have important diagnostic and therapeutic implications.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere14568
    JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - 1 Jun 2023


    • Poland
    • Rome IV diagnostic criteria
    • disorders of gut–brain interaction
    • epidemiology
    • sex/gender-related differences

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
    • Gastroenterology
    • Physiology


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