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Pubmed-Latent class analysis does not support the existence of Rome IV functional bowel disorders as discrete entities


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Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2022 May 9:e14391. doi: 10.1111/nmo.14391. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Previously, we used latent class analysis (LCA) to identify novel subgroups in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). There are four other functional bowel disorders that, although characterized as discrete disorders, overlap considerably with, and fluctuate to, IBS. These might instead be conceptualized as a milder form of IBS. We explored this hypothesis using LCA in a cohort of people with non-IBS functional bowel disorders.

METHODS: We collected demographic, symptom, and psychological health data from 1375 adults in the community who self-identified as having IBS and identified individuals meeting Rome IV criteria for any non-IBS functional bowel disorder. We performed LCA to identify specific subgroups (clusters). We followed participants up at 12 months to reassess gastrointestinal and psychological heath and also gather data about healthcare utilization and impact of symptoms.

KEY RESULTS: 811 people met Rome IV criteria for IBS and 558 Rome IV criteria for another functional bowel disorder (76 (5.5%) functional constipation; 198 (14.5%) functional diarrhea; 129 (9.5%) functional abdominal bloating or distension; and 155 (11.4%) unspecified functional bowel disorder). LCA in these 558 people identified five clusters defined by a combination of gastrointestinal symptoms and the extent of psychological co-morbidity. However, correlation between these clusters and the Rome IV functional bowel disorder diagnoses was poor and 75% of people were classified as having mild IBS using our previous IBS-derived model. By 12 months, one-third of people had fluctuated and met criteria for IBS. Clusters with high psychological burden had a poorer prognosis, with higher rates of medical consultation, medication use, and greater impact of symptoms on daily life.

CONCLUSIONS AND INFERENCES: The functional bowel disorders may be better characterized as a spectrum of IBS rather than separate disorders. Adopting this pragmatic stance may help to simply diagnosis, treatment, and recruitment of patients to research trials.

PMID:35531932 | DOI:10.1111/nmo.14391

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