Existence of irritable bowel syndrome supported by factor analysis of symptoms in two community samples

William E. Whitehead, Michael D. Crowell, Linda Bosmajian, Alan Zonderman, Paul T. Costa, Carol Benjamin, J. Courtland Robinson, Barbara R. Heller, Marvin M. Schuster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

115 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To determine whether bowel symptoms covary in a pattern consistent with the existence of irritable bowel as a distinct syndrome, bowel symptom questionnaires from 2 independent samples were factor analyzed. Samples consisted of 351 18-40-yr-old women who visited Planned Parenthood clinics for contraception and 149 18-89-yr-old women recruited through church women's societies. Factor analysis of 23 bowel symptoms identified 4 factors (clusters of symptoms that were correlated with each other) in both samples. The factor accounting for the most variance in both samples included relief of pain with defecation, looser stools with pain onset, more frequent stools with pain, and gastrointestinal reactions to eating. This irritable bowel factor was not correlated with an objective measure of lactose intolerance. An independent constipation factor was found in both samples to include self-reported constipation, straining with bowel movements, feeling of incomplete evacuation, and rectal bleeding. Thus factor analysis of bowel symptoms supports the existence of a specific irritable bowel syndrome and suggests symptoms that may be used to diagnose this syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)336-340
Number of pages5
JournalGastroenterology
Volume98
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Statistical Factor Analysis
Constipation
Pain
Lactose Intolerance
Defecation
Contraception
Emotions
Eating
Hemorrhage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

Cite this

Whitehead, W. E., Crowell, M. D., Bosmajian, L., Zonderman, A., Costa, P. T., Benjamin, C., ... Schuster, M. M. (1990). Existence of irritable bowel syndrome supported by factor analysis of symptoms in two community samples. Gastroenterology, 98(2), 336-340.

Existence of irritable bowel syndrome supported by factor analysis of symptoms in two community samples. / Whitehead, William E.; Crowell, Michael D.; Bosmajian, Linda; Zonderman, Alan; Costa, Paul T.; Benjamin, Carol; Robinson, J. Courtland; Heller, Barbara R.; Schuster, Marvin M.

In: Gastroenterology, Vol. 98, No. 2, 1990, p. 336-340.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Whitehead, WE, Crowell, MD, Bosmajian, L, Zonderman, A, Costa, PT, Benjamin, C, Robinson, JC, Heller, BR & Schuster, MM 1990, 'Existence of irritable bowel syndrome supported by factor analysis of symptoms in two community samples', Gastroenterology, vol. 98, no. 2, pp. 336-340.
Whitehead WE, Crowell MD, Bosmajian L, Zonderman A, Costa PT, Benjamin C et al. Existence of irritable bowel syndrome supported by factor analysis of symptoms in two community samples. Gastroenterology. 1990;98(2):336-340.
Whitehead, William E. ; Crowell, Michael D. ; Bosmajian, Linda ; Zonderman, Alan ; Costa, Paul T. ; Benjamin, Carol ; Robinson, J. Courtland ; Heller, Barbara R. ; Schuster, Marvin M. / Existence of irritable bowel syndrome supported by factor analysis of symptoms in two community samples. In: Gastroenterology. 1990 ; Vol. 98, No. 2. pp. 336-340.
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