Objectives: It has been hypothesized that Sasang constitutional types (SCTs) have a specific hypoactive organ, which can account for vulnerability to related diseases or symptoms. This study examined the relationship between SCTs and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Design: Cross-sectional study in a population-based cohort study in Korea. Participants: 1362 individuals (705 men and 657 women) who participated in the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study. Outcome measures: The participants were classified into SCTs by the integrated diagnostic model and asked about symptoms related to IBS using the Rome II criteria. Results: The prevalence of IBS differed significantly among the SCTs, with 33 (18.3%) of the So-eum (SE) type, 74 (9.9%) of the Tae-eum (TE) type, and 57 (13.2%) of the So-yang (SY) type having IBS. Even after adjustment for possible confounders, the SE type for both sexes continued to show 1.82-fold (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05-3.16) excess odds of having IBS. Men with SE type had a 2.97 times (95% CI, 1.34-6.58) and a 2.50 times (95% CI, 1.15-5.47) significantly higher odds of having IBS than the TE and SY types, respectively. In analysis for the joint effect of SCT and psychological stress, the multivariate odds ratio of IBS was 3.21 (95% CI, 1.33-7.75) for the SE type and Psychological Well-Being Index-Short Form (PWI-SF) score (<27), and 5.83 (95% CI, 1.80-18.88) for the SE type and PWI-SF (≥27) compared with the TE type and PWI-SF score (<27). Conclusions: The SE type of SCT is an independent risk factor for IBS. The findings support the hypothesis that persons with SE type are vulnerable to gastrointestinal diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Complementary and alternative medicine