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Mental health among university students with eating disorders and irritable bowel syndrome in France

Abstract : BACKGROUND:University students are subject to stress due to academic pressure, empowerment and transition from adolescence to adulthood. This young population may have a higher risk of functional disorders as eating disorders (ED) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Our objective was to determine the prevalence of ED, IBS and both and the associated behaviours.METHODS:A cross sectional study was conducted in Rouen University (France). Participating students filled an anonymous self-questionnaire with items on socio-demographics, depression (Duke score), stress (Cohen score), emotional exhaustion (Maslach Inventory), insomnia (Insomnia Severity Index), cyberaddiction (Internet Addiction Test), ED (SCOFF-F test) and IBS (Rome III).RESULTS:This study included 731 students (male/female ratio=0.43). The prevalences of ED, IBS and co-existing ED-IBS were respectively 16.7%, 7.8% and 2.7%. ED and IBS were more common in female students. Depression, stress, emotional exhaustion, insomnia and cyberaddiction were significantly associated with ED and IBS or both. Students with ED had a higher risk of having IBS (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR)=2.42, 95% CI: 1.30-4.51), and conversely students with IBS had a higher risk of having ED (AOR=2.46, 95% CI: 1.32-4.55) and were more likely to be in the third year of academic study or above (AOR=2.95, 95% CI: 1.50-5.76).CONCLUSION:Students (female especially) suffer from ED and IBS, with a significant risk of co-existing ED-IBS. ED and IBS are related to multiple mental health symptoms, which could lead to negative academic consequences. Screening, using simple and quick tests as SCOFF questionnaire and ROME IV criteria (update of ROME III in 2016), is essential in this population of university students.
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A. Spillebout, P. Dechelotte, J. Ladner, M.P. Tavolacci. Mental health among university students with eating disorders and irritable bowel syndrome in France. Epidemiology and Public Health / Revue d'Epidémiologie et de Santé Publique, Elsevier Masson, 2019, 67 (5), pp.295-301. ⟨10.1016/j.respe.2019.04.056⟩. ⟨hal-02370672⟩



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