Background: The goal of the study is to determine the relationship between irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and osteoporosis in Taiwan. Materials and methods: We collected data from the National Health Insurance (NHI) program in Taiwan. The sample in this study consisted of 31,892 patients enrolled from 2000 to 2009 and diagnosed by the International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM). We divided the sample into 2 cohorts based on whether they had IBS, and formed subgroups based on age, sex, enrolment year, and enrolment month. Results: Age and gender did not differ statistically among the 2 cohorts. Results show that IBS is more correlated with urbanization and the occupation of business. The IBS cohort had a higher incidence of osteoporosis than the non-IBS cohort (6.90 vs 4.15 per 1000 person-years; HR = 1.65, 955 CI = 1.54-1.77). Female patients aged 40-59 years had the highest risk of developing osteoporosis (HR = 4.42, 95% CI = 3.37-5.79 in the IBS cohort; HR = 4.41, 95% CI = 3.67-5.29 in the non-IBS cohort, respectively). In IBS patients less than 40 years of age, female patients had a significant 2.18-fold greater risk of developing osteoporosis than male patients (HR = 2.18, 95% CI = 1.09-4.38). Conclusions: IBS is a risk factor for osteoporosis in Taiwan.
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