Racial Differences in the Impact of Irritable Bowel Syndrome on Health-Related Quality of Life

Published in: Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, v. 38, no. 9, Oct. 2004, p. 782-789

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2004

by Ian M. Gralnek, Ron D. Hays, Amy Kilbourne, Lin Chang, Emeran A. Mayer

Read More

Access further information on this document at www.jcge.com

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

GOALS: To compare the impact of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) on health related quality of life (HRQOI) for non-white and white IBS patients. BACKGROUND: There are no reported data evaluating the HRQOL of non-white persons with IBS. STUDY: SF-36 scores are compared between non-white IBS patients (n = 166), white IBS patients (n = 707), the general US population, and patients with selected chronic diseases. RESULTS: Of the n = 166 non-white IBS patients included for analysis, 66 (40%) described themselves as African-American, 56 (34%) as Hispanic, 25 (15%) as Asian-American, 2 (1%) as Native American and the remaining 17 (10%) as other. Compared with white IBS patients, non-white IBS patients reported similar decrements in their HRQOL after controlling for age, gender, income and education level. On all 8 SF-36 scales, non-white IBS patients had significantly worse HRQOL compared with the general US population, (P < 0.001). Compared with GERD patients, non-white IBS patients scored significantly lower on all SF-36 scales (P < 0.001) except physical functioning. Similarly, non-white IBS patients had significantly worse HRQOL on selected SF-36 scales compared with diabetes mellitus and ESRD patients. Non-white IBS patients had significantly better emotional well-being than depressed patients, (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Non-white IBS patients experience impairment in vitality, role limitations-physical, and bodily pain. Yet overall, non-white IBS patients report similar HRQOL to white IBS patients. These data provide the first detailed evaluation of the impact of IBS on HRQOL in non-white IBS patients.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.