J Neurogastroenterol Motil.  2013 Oct;19(4):521-531.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Is Associated With Gastroesophageal Reflux Symptom but Not Erosive Esophagitis

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Gyeonggi-do, Korea. mascha@ncc.re.kr
  • 2Center for Cancer Prevention & Detection, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Gyeonggi-do, Korea.


Although several studies have suggested overlaps between gastroesophageal reflux symptom and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the studies for the association between erosive esophagitis and IBS are rare. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association among IBS, non-erosive reflux disease (NERD), and erosive esophagitis.
A total of 2,769 participants completed questionnaires and underwent esophagogastroduodenoscopy and colonoscopy. IBS was diagnosed by Rome III; NERD was defined as heartburn or acid regurgitation occurring at least once per week without erosive esophagitis. Erosive esophagitis was defined by Los Angeles classification. Psychological distress was evaluated with modified 4 dimensions from revised Hopkins symptom checklist 90.
Psychological distress was associated with both IBS and NERD, but not with erosive esophagitis. IBS was associated with somatization (adjusted OR, 2.88; 95% CI, 1.55-5.36; P < 0.001), anxiety (adjusted OR, 2.82; 95% CI, 1.36-5.88; P = 0.005), and hostility (adjusted OR, 2.06; 95% CI, 1.10-3.87; P = 0.024) and NERD was associated with somatization (adjusted OR, 5.65; 95% CI, 2.92-10.98; P < 0.001) and anxiety (adjusted OR, 3.29; 95% CI, 1.47-7.34; P = 0.004). Erosive esophagitis was associated with somatization (adjusted OR, 2.69; 95% CI, 1.26-7.91; P < 0.001). Hiatal hernia and male sex were related with erosive esophagitis but not with IBS or NERD. H. pylori had an inverse relationship with erosive esophagitis, but had no association with IBS. Whereas IBS was positively associated with NERD (adjusted OR, 2.72; 95% CI, 1.84-4.03; P < 0.001), it had no association with erosive esophagitis.
IBS shared many risk factors with NERD but not with erosive esophagitis. It partially explains why IBS was associated with NERD, but not with erosive esophagitis.


Erosive esophagitis; Gastroesophageal reflux symptom; Irritable bowel syndrome; Non-erosive reflux disease
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