Prevalence, symptoms and risk factor profile of rumination syndrome and functional dyspepsia: a population-based study

Mudar Zand Irani, Michael P. Jones, Magnus Halland, Linda Herrick, Rok Seon Choung, Yuri A. Saito Loftus, Marjorie M. Walker, Joseph A. Murray, Nicholas J. Talley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Rumination syndrome is a functional gastroduodenal disorder characterised by effortless regurgitation of recently ingested food. Emerging evidence reports duodenal eosinophilic inflammation in a subset, suggesting a shared pathophysiology with functional dyspepsia (FD). Aim: To assess the clinical features of rumination syndrome and FD in a community-based study. Methods: We mailed a survey assessing gastrointestinal symptoms, diet and psychological symptoms to 9835 residents of Olmsted County, MN, USA in 2017-2018; diagnostic codes were obtained from linked clinical records. The two disorders were assessed as mutually exclusive in ‘pure’ forms with a separate overlap group, all compared to a control group not meeting criteria for either. Prevalence of associations, and univariate and independent associations with predictors were assessed by logistic regression. Results: Prevalence of rumination syndrome and FD were 5.8% and 7.1%, respectively; the overlap was 3.83-times more likely than expected by chance. Independent predictors for rumination (odds ratio (OR), 95% confidence interval (CI)) were female gender (1.79, 1.21-2.63), smoking (1.89, 1.28-2.78), gluten-free diet (1.58, 1.14-2.19), allergic rhinitis (1.45, 1.01-2.08) and depression (1.10, 1.05-1.16). FD was independently associated with female gender, depression, non-coeliac wheat sensitivity, migraine, irritable bowel syndrome and somatic symptoms. A similar reported efficacy (≥54%) of low fat or dairy-free diets was found with both disorders (P = 0.53 and P = 1.00, respectively). The strongest independent associations with overlapping FD and rumination syndrome were a history of rheumatoid arthritis (3.93, 1.28-12.06) and asthma (3.02, 1.44-6.34). Conclusion: Rumination syndrome overlaps with FD with a shared risk factor profile, suggesting a common pathophysiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1416-1431
Number of pages16
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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