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The Association Between Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Osteoporosis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

W Wongtrakul 1, N Charoenngam 2, P Ungprasert 3

DOI: 10.1007/s00198-020-05318-y

Abstract
Background: Recent studies have suggested that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) could be a risk factor for osteoporosis although the evidence is still limited. The current study aimed to comprehensively examine the risk of osteoporosis among patients with IBS using systematic review and meta-analysis technique.

Methodology: Literature search was independently conducted by two investigators using MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Google Scholar database up to October 2019. Eligible study must evaluate whether patients with IBS have a higher risk of osteoporosis and/or osteoporotic fracture. It could be either cross-sectional study, case-control study, or cohort study. Point estimates and standard errors from each eligible study were combined together using the generic inverse variance method of DerSimonian and Laird.

Results: Of the 320 articles identified from the three databases, four cohort and one cross-sectional study with 526,633 participants met the eligibility criteria and were included into the meta-analysis. All five studies investigated the risk of osteoporosis among patients with IBS, and the pooled analysis found that patients with IBS had a significantly higher risk of osteoporosis than individuals without IBS with the pooled risk ratio of 1.95 (95% CI, 1.04-3.64; I2 100%). Sensitivity analysis including only cohort studies found a lower RR (pooled RR 1.55; 95% CI, 1.39-1.72) with a lower I2 (59%). Three studies investigated the risk of osteoporotic fracture, and the pooled analysis found that patients with IBS also had a higher risk of osteoporotic fracture than individuals without IBS with the pooled risk ratio of 1.58 although statistical significance was not reached (95% CI, 0.95-2.62; I2 99%). Sensitivity analysis including only cohort studies found a lower RR (pooled RR 1.27; 95% CI, 1.20-1.39) with a dramatically lower I2 (0%). Limitations included high heterogeneity and reliance on diagnostic codes.

Conclusion: A significantly increased risk of osteoporosis among IBS patients was observed in this study. Early intervention to prevent the development of osteoporosis, such as weight-bearing exercise, adequate intake of vitamin D and calcium, and early screening for osteoporosis, may be beneficial to these patients although further studies are still required to confirm the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of this approach.