OBJECTIVE: To determine whether unexplained gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are more common in people with self-reported sleep disturbance. PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS: From November 1988 to June 1994, valid self-report questionnaires were mailed to age- and sex-stratified random samples of Olmsted County, Minnesota, residents aged 20 to 95 years. RESULTS: Of 2269 stydy participants (74% response rate), 52% were woman (mean age, 45.0 years). The overall age- and sex-adjusted prevalence of sleep disturbance per 100 population was 13.5% (95% confidence Interval [CI], 11.7%-15.3%). Among study participants with sleep disturbance, the prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) was 33.3% (95% CI, 26.0%-40.5%) and the prevalence of frequent dyspspsia (FD) was 21.3% (95% CI, 14.4%-28.2%). After adjusting for age, sex, and somatization score, IBS was significantly more common in these with sleep disturbance (odds ratio, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.1-3.2), but the univariate association witlt FD was no longer statistically significant (odds ratio, 1.3; 95% CI, 0.9-1.9). CONCLUSIONS: Both IBS and FD are prevalent in those with self-reported sleep disturbance. Sleep disturbance was independently associated with IBS but not FD in the general population.
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