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Intern Med J. 2006 Jan;36(1):28-36.

Epidemiology of the functional gastrointestinal disorders diagnosed according to Rome II criteria: an Australian population-based study.

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Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.



Population-based studies of the prevalence of all functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID) using the Rome II criteria are lacking. It is also not certain whether subjects who meet the Rome II criteria for an FGID are different in terms of demographic and psychological characteristics from those subjects meeting exclusively the more restrictive Rome I criteria.


To determine whether using the more restrictive Rome I criteria would result in a more biologically determined group of FGID than when the Rome II is applied.


Subjects included individuals aged 18 years and older (n = 1,225) from the Penrith population who were initially surveyed with the Penrith District Health Survey in 1997. Subjects were sent a self-report questionnaire that contained items on gastrointestinal symptoms applying the Rome II criteria. Subjects were also assessed on psychological and personality factors and on physical and mental functioning.


A total of 36.1% (n = 275) of respondents was diagnosed with an FGID according to Rome II criteria. The five most prevalent FGID were functional heartburn (10.4%), irritable bowel syndrome (8.9%), functional incontinence (7.6%), proctalgia fugax (6.5%) and functional chest pain (5.1%). Subjects meeting Rome II only criteria for FGID scored significantly higher on measures of psychological caseness and emotionality than Rome I only subjects, and these were independently associated with meeting Rome I only versus Rome II only criteria for FGID.


The Rome II criteria FGID are common and do not appear to identify a vastly different group of FGID sufferers compared with the earlier Rome I criteria.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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