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Dietary patterns, digestive symptoms and health-related quality of life in women reporting minor digestive symptoms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

B.A. Holmes, F. Habi-Rachedi, B. Trotin, D. Paineau, D. Guyonnet, P. Rondeau, B. Flourié, K. Whelan

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Nov 2016


King's Authors


Objective Digestive symptoms are reported to result from a wide range of dietary components. Dietary pattern analysis is a useful method of considering the entire diet, rather than individual foods or nutrients, providing an opportunity to take interactions into account. The objective was to investigate the relationship between diet, digestive symptoms and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in women reporting minor digestive symptoms, using a dietary pattern approach. Research methods Analysis was performed on dietary and digestive symptoms data collected in France. Females (n=308, aged 18-60yrs) reporting a bowel movement frequency within the normal range (3-21 stools/week) but with minor digestive symptoms in the previous month were investigated. Dietary data was collected using three 24-hr recalls. K-means was used to divide the dietary data into clusters. The frequency of digestive symptoms (abdominal discomfort or pain, bloating, flatulence, borborygmi) and bowel movements were evaluated over a two week period. HRQoL was also assessed. Results Four dietary clusters were identified and characterized as: Cluster 1 ‘Unhealthy’, Cluster 2 ‘Balance’, Cluster 3 ‘Healthy’ and Cluster 4 ‘Convenience’. Analysis showed no differences in the frequency of digestive symptoms according to dietary cluster, except for flatulence (p=0.030) which was more frequent in the Unhealthy and Convenience clusters. No significant differences were observed in HRQoL according to dietary clusters. Conclusions Our results demonstrate that even within a relatively homogeneous sample of French women, distinct dietary patterns can be identified but without significant differences in digestive symptoms (except for flatulence), and HRQoL.

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