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Evidence exists of an increased risk of irritable bowel syndrome after an episode of bacterial gastroenteritis.[1 2] In one study, 12 out of 38 patients presented with bowel dysfunction 1 year after salmonella gastroenteritis. In another study, 386 patients with bacterial gastroenteritis were surveyed by questionnaire 6 months after infection, and 27 (7%) had developed irritable bowel syndrome. Both studies, however, lacked a control group.
Subjects, methods, and results
Our source population came from the General Practice Research Database, which contains clinical information on patients recorded by general practitioners in the United Kingdom.
We identified patients aged 25 to 74 with a bacteriologically confirmed first episode of gastroenteritis, from a recent study that examined the association between acid suppressing drugs and the development of gastroenteritis. We excluded all patients with a history of irritable bowel syndrome, cancer, or alcoholism. We sampled a comparison cohort from the source population from which patients with gastroenteritis had been ascertained. We applied the same eligibility criteria as were used for the …