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Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 45, Issue 6, pp 1166–1171 | Cite as

Abdominal Pain, Bloating, and Diarrheain the United States:

  • Robert S. Sandler
  • Walter F. Stewart
  • Joshua N. Liberman
  • Judith A. Ricci
  • Nora L. Zorich
Article

Abstract

The prevalence and impact of abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea in the adult US population are largely unknown. We conducted a national, cross-sectional, telephone survey of US households to provide estimates of the frequency, duration, severity, and impact of specific digestive symptoms during the previous month. A total of 2510 subjects completed interviews (70.7% response rate). Among the respondents, 1017 (40.5%) reported one or more digestive symptoms within the month before the interview, including abdominal pain or discomfort 21.8%, bloating or distension 15.9%, and diarrhea or loose stools 26.9%. Women were more likely than men to report abdominal pain or discomfort (24.4% vs 17.5%) and bloating or distension (19.2% vs 10.5%), but not diarrhea or loose stools (27.1% vs 26.7%). Symptoms were less common among those ≥60 years of age. More than 65% of respondents rated symptoms as moderate or severe in intensity, and the majority reported limitations in daily activities. We conclude that digestive symptoms are more common than previously recognized and have a significant impact.

abdominal pain diarrhea signs and symptoms digestion 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert S. Sandler
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Walter F. Stewart
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Joshua N. Liberman
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Judith A. Ricci
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Nora L. Zorich
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition and the Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and DiseaseUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel Hill
  2. 2.Department of EpidemiologyJohns Hopkins University School of Public HealthBaltimore
  3. 3.Innovative Medical ResearchBaltimore
  4. 4.The Procter & Gamble CompanyCincinnati

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