Published online Mar 28, 2015. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i12.3628
Peer-review started: October 10, 2014
First decision: October 29, 2014
Revised: December 9, 2014
Accepted: January 8, 2015
Article in press: January 8, 2015
Published online: March 28, 2015
Core tip: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is an acknowledged functional gastrointestinal disorder of major public health concern. Little is known about IBS prevalence in Arab countries and specifically among university students, including Lebanon. Therefore, an epidemiological study, the first of its kind, investigating IBS among university students in Lebanon was conducted. The prevalence of IBS reported in this study was relatively high and similar to the estimate found in industrialized countries. The risk of having IBS, after adjusting for confounders was significantly higher among females than males, those aged 22 years or younger, among those who were living in a private house or in the school dormitory on their own, and among subjects with middle to high income levels. Findings of this study have important implications for IBS screening and management, as they highlight the importance of engaging in healthy behaviors to minimize IBS symptoms and enhance quality of life among IBS patients.