Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 54, Issue 5, pp 1079–1086

Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease in Primary Care: Is There a Link?

  • Ana Ruigómez
  • Mari-Ann Wallander
  • Saga Johansson
  • Luis Alberto García Rodríguez


Population-based studies have shown that gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) coexist more commonly than expected by chance. We aimed to investigate the relationship between GERD and IBS in primary care. The General Practice Research Database was used to identify patients with a first diagnosis of GERD (n = 6,421) or IBS (n = 2,932). Patients were followed up for 12 months after diagnosis to investigate the incidence of IBS among GERD patients and GERD among IBS patients. The relative risk (RR) of developing IBS was 3.5 (95% CI: 2.3–5.4) in the GERD cohort compared with the comparison cohort. The RR of developing GERD was 2.8 (95% CI: 1.7–4.9) in the IBS cohort compared with the comparison cohort. A first diagnosis of either IBS or GERD significantly increases the risk of a subsequent diagnosis of the other condition.


Database Epidemiology Gastroesophageal reflux Irritable bowel syndrome Primary health care 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Ruigómez
    • 1
  • Mari-Ann Wallander
    • 2
    • 3
  • Saga Johansson
    • 2
    • 4
  • Luis Alberto García Rodríguez
    • 1
  1. 1.Spanish Centre for Pharmacoepidemiological Research (CEIFE)MadridSpain
  2. 2.AstraZeneca R&DMölndalSweden
  3. 3.Department of Public Health and Caring ScienceUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  4. 4.Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska AcademyGothenburg UniversityGothenburgSweden

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