Users of oral steroids are at a reduced risk of developing irritable bowel syndrome
Article first published online: 26 MAR 2003
Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
Volume 12, Issue 7, pages 583–588, October/November 2003
How to Cite
Huerta, C., García Rodríguez, L. A., Wallander, M.-A. and Johansson, S. (2003), Users of oral steroids are at a reduced risk of developing irritable bowel syndrome. Pharmacoepidem. Drug Safe., 12: 583–588. doi: 10.1002/pds.836
- Issue published online: 15 SEP 2003
- Article first published online: 26 MAR 2003
- Manuscript Accepted: 18 FEB 2003
- Manuscript Revised: 10 FEB 2003
- Manuscript Received: 29 OCT 2002
- AstraZeneca, Sweden
- nested case-control study;
- oral steroids;
- irritable bowel syndrome
To study whether irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is associated with the use of oral steroids and whether there is a dose- or duration-response.
We followed up a cohort of 65 270 patients aged 20–74 years old enrolled in the General Practice Research Database in the UK with at least one prescription for steroids between 1994 and 1999. We performed a nested case-control analysis to estimate the adjusted relative risk (RR) associated with the use of steroids using unconditional logistic regression. Cases were 466 patients with a first episode of IBS during follow-up and controls were 5000 individuals randomly selected from the study cohort.
Current users of oral steroids presented an RR of 0.6 (95%CI: 0.4–0.9) compared to non-users. Doses greater than 10 mg of prednisolone daily were associated with an RR of 0.4 (95%CI: 0.2–0.9). When we stratified by age, no reduced risk of IBS was apparent under the age of 40 years. The reduced risk of IBS was greater among females than males.
Our results suggest that oral steroids can reduce the risk of a diagnosis of IBS. The apparent effect modification of age and sex deserves further research. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.