Introduction: Remarkable high rates of functional gastrointestinal disorders, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in particular, is prevalent among medical students. On the other hand, nature of studying medicine leads to sleep disorders in this population. Increased innate immunity in the intestinal mucosa and lamina propria, particularly mast cells and monocytes along elevated numbers of T cells along with antibody production suggest a role for the adaptive immune response.
Objectives: The current study aims to assess the prevalence and association between IBS and sleep quality in medical students.
Patients and Methods: This is a cross-sectional study on 100 medical students to assess the correlation between sleep disorders and IBS. ROME IV criteria were utilized to determine the diagnosis of IBS and The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) to evaluate sleep disorders. The students’ length of sleep, age, gender and residence were recorded.
Results: According to ROME-IV criteria, 24 medical students, including 18 females (75%) were diagnosed with IBS. As measured by the PSQI, 66% of the students reported disturbed sleep quality. The mean length of sleep of the participants was 6.02 (±1.29 hours). The IBS incidence was not associated with age (P=0.56), gender (P=0.49) or residence (P=0.66). The logistic regression assessment revealed that impaired sleep quality was an independent risk factor for IBS diagnosis among the medical students (P<0.001, OR: 10, 95% CI: 4.3-23.3).
Conclusion: Based on the current study, IBS was diagnosed in 24% of the medical students in Isfahan. The length of sleep was significantly associated with IBS; however, age and gender and also sleep quality did not have any significant association with it.