Healthy Lifestyle Cuts Risk for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Findings show dose-response pattern, with further risk reductions seen with more healthy behaviors
Healthy Lifestyle Cuts Risk for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
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Medically Reviewed By:
Meeta Shah, M.D.

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 21, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Adhering to a higher number of healthy lifestyle behaviors is significantly associated with a lower incidence of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), according to a study published online Feb. 20 in Gut.

Fai Fai Ho, from the School of Chinese Medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and colleagues evaluated the association between healthy lifestyle behaviors and the incidence of IBS. The analysis included 64,268 adults (aged 37 to 73 years) with no IBS diagnosis at baseline (2006 to 2010), with follow-up to 2022 (mean follow-up, 12.6 years).

The researchers found that 11.8 percent of participants reported no healthy lifestyle behaviors, 32.1 percent reported one behavior, 34.1 percent reported two behaviors, and 21.9 percent reported three to five behaviors at baseline. The risk for IBS incidence decreased with increasing healthy behaviors (adjusted hazard ratios [aHRs] for one, two, and three to five behaviors, 0.79, 0.64, and 0.58, respectively). There were significant independent inverse associations observed with IBS incidence for never smoking (aHR, 0.86), a high level of vigorous physical activity (aHR, 0.83), and optimal sleep (aHR, 0.73). There were no significant interactions seen between these associations and age, sex, employment status, geographic location, gastrointestinal infection, endometriosis, family history of IBS, or lifestyle behaviors.

"Coordinated efforts and support at individual and community levels are required to promote the adoption of the five beneficial lifestyle behaviors among the general population for IBS prevention and for other health benefits," the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text

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