Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Chronic Fatigue 6 Years After Giardia Infection: A Controlled Prospective Cohort Study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
MetadataVis full innførsel
Background. Functional gastrointestinal disorders and fatigue may follow acute infections. This study aimed to estimate the persistence, prevalence, and risk of irritable bowel syndrome and chronic fatigue 6 years after Giardia infection. Methods. We performed a controlled prospective study of a cohort of 1252 individuals who had laboratory-confirmed Giardia infection during a waterborne outbreak in 2004. In total, 748 cohort cases (exposed) and 878 matched controls responded to a postal questionnaire 6 years later (in 2010). Responses were compared to data from the same cohort 3 years before (in 2007). Results. The prevalences of irritable bowel syndrome (39.4%) by Rome III criteria and chronic fatigue (30.8%) in the exposed group 6 years after giardiasis were significantly elevated compared with controls, with adjusted relative risks (RRs) of 3.4 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.9–3.9) and 2.9 (95% CI, 2.3–3.4), respectively. In the exposed group, the prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome decreased by 6.7% (RR, 0.85 [95% CI, .77–.93]), whereas the prevalence of chronic fatigue decreased by 15.3% from 3 to 6 years after Giardia infection (RR, 0.69 [95% CI, .62–.77]). Giardia exposure was a significant risk factor for persistence of both conditions, and increasing age was a risk factor for persisting chronic fatigue. Conclusions. Giardia infection in a nonendemic setting is associated with an increased risk for irritable bowel syndrome and chronic fatigue 6 years later. The prevalences of both conditions decrease over time, indicating that this intestinal protozoan parasite may elicit very long-term, but slowly self-limiting, complications.