Hypermobility spectrum disorders and irritable bowel syndrome: A nationwide study of 1.6 million adolescents

Yair Zloof, Lidor Peretz, Maya Braun, Maya Simchoni, Avishai M. Tsur, Dorit Tzur, Estela Derazne, Amir Ben-Tov, Orit Pinhas-Hamiel, Gil Amarilyo, Saleh Daher, Amir Shlaifer, Yolanda Braun-Moscovici*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and aim: The association between hypermobility spectrum disorders/hypermobile type Ehlers–Danlos syndrome (HDS/hEDS) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is yet to be clarified. We aimed to assess this association in a national sample of adolescents. Methods: A population-based cross-sectional study included 1 627 345 Israeli adolescents (58% male; mean age 17 years) who were medically assessed before compulsory military service during 1998–2020. Diagnoses of HSD/hEDS and IBS were confirmed by board-certified specialists. The prevalence and odds ratios (ORs) for IBS in adolescents with and without HSD/hEDS were computed. Results: A total of 4686 adolescents (2553 male) with HSD/hEDS were identified, of whom 71 were diagnosed with IBS (prevalence = 1.5%). Of the 1 621 721 adolescents in the control group, 8751 were diagnosed with IBS (prevalence = 0.5%). Unadjusted logistic regression revealed a significant association between HSD/hEDS and IBS (OR = 2.16 [95% confidence interval, CI, 1.90–2.45]), which persisted in multivariable adjusted models (OR = 2.58 [95% CI, 2.02–3.24]), and in several sensitivity analyses. The association was evident in both male and female adolescents with ORs of 2.60 (95% CI, 1.87–3.49), and 2.46 (95% CI, 1.66–3.49), respectively. The association was accentuated in a sensitivity analysis accounting for other medical and psychiatric comorbidities. Conclusions: We found a significant association between HSD/hEDS and IBS in both male and female adolescents. Clinical awareness of the association can promote early diagnosis of IBS and appropriate multidisciplinary treatment. Further research is required to identify the common pathological pathways of the conditions and to develop new IBS treatment strategies for people with HSD/hEDS.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia)
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • clinical intestinal disorders
  • clinical pediatric gastroenterology
  • functional disorders


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