Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Gastroenterol. 2009 Mar;104(3):686-94. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2009.23. Epub 2009 Feb 17.

Psychiatric disorder, irritable bowel syndrome, and extra-intestinal symptoms in a population-based sample of twins.

Author information

  • 1Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.



To determine, in a population-based sample of twin pairs, if extra-intestinal symptoms (EIS) are closely associated with both irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and psychiatric disorders and whether such associations are explained on a genetic basis.


A random sample of twins between the ages of 44 and 64 years enrolled in the Minnesota Twins Registry completed the Modified Mayo Clinic Bowel Disease Questionnaire, a questionnaire on extra-intestinal symptoms, and the Psychiatric Diagnostic Screening Questionnaire.


Of the 3,048 participants (51% response rate), 371 (12.2%) fulfilled Rome II criteria for IBS; 61 (16.4%) had a psychiatric disorder compared with 7.6% (n=204) of those without IBS (P<0.001). In regression analysis both IBS and psychiatric disorders were independently associated with the number of extra-intestinal symptoms (P<0.0005). Concordance rates for high EIS score were 30.0% for monozygote (MZ) twins and 16.7% in dizygote (DZ) twins (P=0.020) and the OR for concordance remained substantially higher for MZ than DZ twins after adjustment for psychiatric disorder and presence of IBS (6.82 (95% CI 4.45-10.45) and 2.71 (95% CI 1.69-4.37)). In MZ twins discordant for IBS, EIS and IBS were significantly associated (P=0.004) and psychiatric disorder and EIS were significantly associated (P=0.001).


Extra-intestinal symptoms are independently associated with both IBS and psychiatric disorders. There is evidence that there is a genetic basis to EIS, but the association with IBS and psychiatric disorders is not primarily explained by genetic influences.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk