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PLOS ONE  2014 

Epidemiology of Functional Abdominal Bloating and Its Impact on Health Related Quality of Life: Male-Female Stratified Propensity Score Analysis in a Population Based Survey in Mainland China

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0102320

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Background The epidemiology of Functional abdominal bloating (FAB) and its impact on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in Chinese people remains unclear. Methods Randomised, stratified, multi-stage sampling methodology was used to select a representative sample of the general population from five cities in China (n = 16,078). All respondents completed the modified Rome II questionnaire; 20% were asked to complete the 36-item Short Form (SF-36). The associated factors of FAB were analyzed. The effects of FAB on HRQoL were estimated with gender stratification using propensity score techniques in 20% subsample. Results Overall, 643 individuals (4.00%) had FAB and it was more prevalent in males than in females (4.87% vs. 3.04%, P<0.001). For males, self-reported history of dyspepsia was most strongly associated with FAB (OR = 2.78; 95% CI: 1.59, 4.72). However, the most strongly associated factor was self-reported health status for females (moderate health vs. good health: OR = 2.06, 95% CI: 1.07, 3.96. P = 0.030; poor health vs. good health: OR = 5.71, 95% CI: 2.06, 15.09). Concerning HRQoL, FAB was found to be related to two domains: role limitation due to physical problems (P = 0.030) and bodily pain (P<0.001) in females. While, in males, there were significant differences in multiple domains between those with and without FAB. Conclusion The prevalence of FAB in China was lower than previous reports. Males who had ever been diagnosed with dyspepsia and females who were in a poor self-reported health status were correlated with a higher prevalence of FAB. FAB affected only physical health in females, but impaired both physical and mental health in males.


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