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Eva Ørnbøl

Irritable bowel, chronic widespread pain, chronic fatigue and related syndromes are prevalent and highly overlapping in the general population: DanFunD

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Prevalence of functional somatic syndromes (FSS) in the general population varies with observed overlap between syndromes. However, studies including a range of FSS are sparse. We investigated prevalence and characteristics of various FSS and the unifying diagnostic construct bodily distress syndrome (BDS), and identified mutual overlap of the FSS and their overlap with BDS. We included a stratified subsample of 1590 adults from a randomly selected Danish general population sample (n = 7493). Telephonic diagnostic interviews performed by three trained physicians were used to identify individuals with FSS and BDS. Prevalence of overall FSS was 9.3%; 3.8% for irritable bowel, 2.2% for chronic widespread pain, 6.1% for chronic fatigue, 1.5% for whiplash associated disorders, and 0.9% for multiple chemical sensitivity. Prevalence of BDS was 10.7% where 2.0% had the multi-organ type. FSS were highly overlapping with low likelihood of having a “pure” type. Diagnostic agreement of FSS and BDS was 92.0%. Multi-syndromatic FSS and multi-organ BDS were associated with female sex, poor health, physical limitations, and comorbidity. FSS are highly prevalent and overlapping, and multi-syndromatic cases are most affected. BDS captured the majority of FSS and may improve clinical management, making the distinction between multi- and mono-syndromatic patients easier.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3273
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

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