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Pubmed-Prevalence of functional disorders across Europe: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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Eur J Epidemiol. 2024 Mar 29. doi: 10.1007/s10654-024-01109-5. Online ahead of print.


Functional Disorders (FD) refer to persistent somatic symptoms caused by changes in the functioning of bodily processes. Previous findings suggest that FD are highly prevalent, but overall prevalence rates for FD in European countries are scarce. Therefore, the aim of the present work was to estimate the point prevalence of FD in adult general populations. PubMed and Web of Science were searched from inception to June 2022. A generalized linear mixed-effects model for statistical aggregation was used for statistical analyses. A standardized quality assessment was performed, and PRISMA guidelines were followed. A total of 136 studies were included and systematically synthesized resulting in 8 FD diagnoses. The large majority of studies was conducted in the Northern Europe, Spain, and Italy. The overall point prevalence for FD was 8.78% (95% CI from 7.61 to 10.10%) across Europe, with the highest overall point prevalence in Norway (17.68%, 95% CI from 9.56 to 30.38%) and the lowest in Denmark (3.68%, 95% CI from 2.08 to 6.43%). Overall point prevalence rates for specific FD diagnoses resulted in 20.27% (95% CI from 16.51 to 24.63%) for chronic pain, 9.08% (95% CI from 7.31 to 11.22%) for irritable bowel syndrome, and 8.45% (95% CI from 5.40 to 12.97%) for chronic widespread pain. FD are highly prevalent across Europe, which is in line with data worldwide. Rates implicate the need to set priorities to ensure adequate diagnosis and care paths to FD patients by care givers and policy makers.

PMID:38551715 | DOI:10.1007/s10654-024-01109-5

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