J Neurogastroenterol Motil  https://doi.org/10.5056/jnm23012
Masculinity, Rather Than Biological Sex, Is Associated With Psychological Comorbidities in Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Yong Sung Kim,1 Ju Yup Lee,2 Jung-Wook Kim,3 Seung Joo Kang,4 Jung Ho Park,5 Hyun Jin Kim,6 Seung-ho Jang,7 Ji-Hyeon Kim,8 and Jung-Hwan Oh,9*; Brain-Gut Axis Research Group of Korean Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility
1Digestive Disease Research Institute, Wonkwang University School of Medicine, Iksan, Korea, Good Breath Clinic, Gunpo, Gyeonggi-do Korea; 2Department of Internal Medicine, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea; 3Department of Internal Medicine, Kyung Hee University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea; 4Department of Internal Medicine and Healthcare Research Institute, Healthcare System Gangnam Center, Seoul National University Hospital Gangnam Center, Seoul, Korea; 5Department of Internal Medicine, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea; 6Department of Internal Medicine, Gyeongsang National University Changwon Hospital, Changwon, Gyeongsangnam-do, Korea; 7Department of Psychiatry, Wonkwang University School of Medicine, Iksan, Jeonbuk State, Korea; 8Department of Education, Hongik University, Seoul, Korea; and 9Department of Internal Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence to: Jung-Hwan Oh, MD, PhD
Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Eunpyeong St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, 1021, Tongil-ro, Eunpyeong-gu, Seoul 03312, Korea
Tel: +82-2-2030-4313, E-mail: ojh@catholic.ac.kr

Yong Sung Kim and Ju Yup Lee contributed equally to this work.
Received: January 26, 2023; Revised: April 13, 2023; Accepted: April 21, 2023; Published online: February 7, 2024
© The Korean Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility. All rights reserved.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) generally shows sex differences, and psychiatric comorbidities play an important role in its pathogenesis. We aim to measure the levels of gender roles and investigate their relationship with psychiatric factors in patients with IBS versus healthy controls.
Patients diagnosed with IBS by Rome III and whose colonoscopy findings were normal were enrolled at multiple sites in Korea. The participants completed the Korean Sex Role Inventory–Short Form (KSRI-SF) to assess masculinity and femininity, the stress questionnaire, the Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS), and the 36-item Short Form Health Survey questionnaire to assess the quality of life (QOL).
In total, 102 patients with IBS (male:female = 35:67; mean age 42.6 ± 16.7 years) and 55 controls (male:female = 20:35; mean age 42.4 ± 11.1 years) were recruited. IBS patients had higher stress (9.69 ± 8.23 vs 4.56 ± 8.31, P < 0.001) and HADS scores (16.12 ± 7.17 vs 10.22 ± 5.74, P < 0.001) than the control group, but showed no significant difference in KSRI-SF scores. No significant differences in HADS and KSRI-SF scores were found between males and females. However, IBS patients whose symptoms worsened due to stress and patients with anxiety or depression had significantly lower masculinity. QOL was poorer in IBS patients than in controls. In stepwise multivariate analyses, the anxiety score, depression score, and the degree of daily life disturbance, not masculinity, were associated with the QOL of IBS patients.
IBS patients had higher stress, more psychiatric comorbidities, and lower QOL than controls. Low masculinity, rather than sex, was associated with stress and psychological comorbidities, which deteriorated the QOL in IBS patients.
Keywords: Anxiety; Depression; Irritable bowel syndrome; Masculinity; Stress, psychological

This Article



Aims and Scope