Brian E. Lacy, MD, PhD: IBS-C Symptoms During COVID-19

May 25, 2021
Kenny Walter

Kenny Walter is an editor with HCPLive. Prior to joining MJH Life Sciences in 2019, he worked as a digital reporter covering nanotechnology, life sciences, material science and more with R&D Magazine. He graduated with a degree in journalism from Temple University in 2008 and began his career as a local reporter for a chain of weekly newspapers based on the Jersey shore. When not working, he enjoys going to the beach and enjoying the shore in the summer and watching North Carolina Tar Heel basketball in the winter.

A large proportion of IBS-C patients did not seek health care during the COVID-19 pandemic despite symptoms.

There is considerable disease burden for patients with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) that was only exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In data presented during the 2021 Digestive Disease Week (DDW) Virtual Meeting, a team of researchers led by Brian E. Lacy, MD, PhD, Gastroenterology, Neurogastroenterology, the Mayo Clinic, examined how the pandemic shaped disease presentation and health care utilization.

The researchers used a sampling of 130 IBS-C patients with 130 control patients between August and October 2020 and found more than a third of surveyed IBS-C patients indicated worsening symptoms during the duration of the pandemic and a quarter of patients cancelling health care visits during the study period.

The investigators also found 46% of IBS-C patients did not seek healthcare in the previous year because of their symptoms.

However, more IBS-C patients reported a higher proportion of moderate-to-severe anxiety and depression and a lower health-related quality of life.

In an interview with HCPLive®, Lacy explained the results of the survey and why it is troubling that this patient population did not largely seek care during the pandemic despite reports of worsening symptoms.

Lacy also discussed how the pandemic may permanently impact both medical research and how diseases are cared for in the future.