GOALS: Determine factors associated with Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) patients.

BACKGROUND: IBS affects 10% to 15% of the adult population worldwide and is linked to anxiety and depression. The impact of IBS-type symptoms in NAFLD patients is not well described.

STUDY: A cross-sectional study of patients in the hepatology clinic at Houston Methodist Hospital was performed based on a respondent postal survey. IBS was defined by the Rome IV questionnaire, anxiety and depression were assessed with the Hospital Anxiety Depression scale. Patients with inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal carcinoma, or small bowel tumors were excluded. Patients were divided based on Rome IV diagnostic criteria for IBS and Hospital Anxiety Depression scale.

RESULTS: 130 patients were included in the analysis, 38 satisfied Rome IV criteria for IBS (IBS group) versus 92 who did not (non-IBS group). Depression was more prevalent in the IBS group (18.4% vs 5.4%, P =0.01). Anxiety was also greater in the IBS group (31.6% vs 9.8%, P =0.002). Female sex, depression, and body mass index (BMI)>30 were independent predictors of IBS in NAFLD in 4 multiple logistic regression models. In newly diagnosed IBS patients, gamma-glutamyl transferase levels were lower (67.5 vs 28, P =0.04). Current abdominal pain was higher than 100% versus 81.3% ( P =0.045), as was pain associated with the change in stool frequency (96.3% vs 50%; P <0.001).

CONCLUSION: Our study highlights the increased rate of IBS symptoms, depression, and anxiety in patients with NAFLD. Clinicians should be alert when IBS symptoms are reported by a NAFLD patient and be aware of the impact of these comorbidities on quality of life and response to therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1016-1023
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 14 2022


  • IBS
  • anxiety
  • depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


Dive into the research topics of 'Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Patients Are an Indicator of Depression and Anxiety'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this