Intended for healthcare professionals


Irritable bowel, mortality, . . . and other stories

BMJ 2020; 369 doi: (Published 21 May 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;369:m1928

Irritable bowel syndrome

People with irritable bowel syndrome can be reassured that, unpleasant though their symptoms may be, the condition won’t shorten their lives. A study from Sweden followed 50 000 people with a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome, comparing them with age and sex matched controls from the general population and with siblings without symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (Am J Gastroenterol doi:10.14309/ajg.0000000000000573). There was no hint that irritable bowel syndrome carried an increased risk of death in any of the comparisons.

Psychiatric disorders across the life span

A birth cohort study from the south of New Zealand whose participants have now reached middle age reports the astonishing finding that most have suffered from a mental illness at one or more periods in their lives. The presence of a psychiatric disorder was assessed nine times between ages 11 and 45. Overall, 86% of participants met criteria for a disorder on at least one …

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