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The Global Epidemiology Study began as an idea proposed in 2011 by Rome Foundation board member Ami Sperber. The plan was to use the new Rome IV diagnostic criteria to study the world-wide prevalence of Disorders of Gut-Brain Interaction, defined by the new criteria. Dr. Sperber worked out the details of the study design and then recruited investigators from around the globe to participate. The Rome IV study questionnaire was translated into 21 languages, localized into 18 additional versions (for example, Spanish was translated for Mexico and localized for Argentina, Colombia, and Spain) and underwent linguistic validation. The questionnaire was used as an online internet survey in 26 countries and a household door-to-door survey in 9 countries, with 2 countries using both methods. The data was collated by a biometry team, led by Drs. Kant Bangdiwala and Olafur Palsson. The first of many key publications is now in press in Gastroenterology, and it summarizes the prevalence of 22 Disorders of Gut-Brain Interaction across the globe and reports on their epidemiology and impact.

The Rome Foundation would like to thank Dr. Ami Sperber, whose vision, persistence and motivational skills made this idea a reality. The Rome Foundation as well as everybody working in or impacted by Disorders of Gut Brain Interaction owes a debt of gratitude to Dr. Sperber for his contribution to the field.


For information on accessing this database, please contact Dr. Olafur Palsson Email



Worldwide Prevalence and Burden of Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, Results of Rome Foundation Global Study
Ami D. Sperber, MD, Shrikant I. Bangdiwala, PhD, Douglas A. Drossman, MD, Uday C. Ghoshal, MD, Magnus Simren, MD, Jan Tack, MD, William E. Whitehead, PhD, Dan L. Dumitrascu, MD, Xuicai Fang, MD, Shin Fukudo, MD, John Kellow, MBBS, Edith Okeke, BMBCH, Eamonn MM. Quigley, MD, Max Schmulson, MD, Peter Whorwell, MD, Timothy Archampong, MBChB, Payman Adibi, MD, Viola Andresen, MD, Marc A. Benninga, MD, Bruno Bonaz, MD, Serhat Bor, MD,Luis Bustos Fernandez, MD, Suck Chei Choi, MD, Enrico S. Corazziari, MD, Carlos Francisconi, MD, Albis Hani, MD, Leonid Lazebnik, MD, Yeong Yeh Lee, MD, Agata Mulak, MD, M. Masudur Rahman, MD, Javier Santos, MD, Mashiko Setshedi, MBChB, Ari Fahrial Syam, MD, Stephen Vanner, MD, Reuben K. Wong, MD, Aurelio Lopez-Colombo, MD, Valeria Costa, MD, Ram Dickman, MD, Motoyori Kanazawa, MD, Ammar Hassanzadeh Keshteli, MD, Rutaba Khatun, MSc, Iradj Maleki, MD, Pierre Poitras, MD, Nitesh Pratap, MBBS, Oksana Stefanyuk, MD, Sandie Thomson, MBChB, Judith Zeevenhooven, BSc, Olafur S. Palsson, PsyD
Gastroenterology (2020), doi: j.gastro.2020.04.014.

Global Epidemiological Study Executive and Operational Committee Members

Shrikant I. Bangdiwala, PhD*†

Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact
McMaster University
Population Health Research Institute
McMaster University
Hamilton, ON, Canada

Douglas A. Drossman, MD†

Center for Functional GI & Motility Disorders
University of North Carolina
Center for Education and Practice of Biopsychosocial Care
Drossman Gastroenterology
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA

Dan L. Dumitrascu, MD*

Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy
Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Xiucai Fang, MD
Xuicai Fang, MD*

Department of Gastroenterology
Peking Union Medical College Hospital
Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College
Beijing, China

Shin Fukudo, MD*
Department of Behavioral Medicine
Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine
Sendai, Japan

Uday C. Ghoshal, MD*

Department of Gastroenterology
Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGI)
Lucknow, India

John Kellow, MD
John Kellow, MBBS*

Discipline of Medicine, Northern Clinical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

Edith Okeke, BMBCH*

Department of Medicine
University of Jos, Jos University Teaching Hospital
Jos, Nigeria

Dr. Olafur Palsson
Olafur S. Palsson, PsyD*†

Center for Functional GI & Motility Disorders
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Eamonn Quigley, MD*

Lynda K and David M Underwood Center for Digestive Disorder, Gastroenterology and
Houston Methodist Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College
Texas, USA

Max J. Schmulson W., MD
Max Schmulson, MD*

Laboratory of Liver, Pancreas and Motility (HIPAM)
Unit of Research in Experimental
Faculty of Medicine, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM)
Hospital General de México
Mexico City, Mexico

Magnus Simrén
Magnus Simren, MD†
Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition
Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy
University of Gothenburg
Gothenburg, Sweden

Ami D. Sperber, MD*†
Faculty of Health Sciences
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Beer-Sheva, Israel

Jan Tack, MD, PhD
Jan Tack, MD†
Translational Research Center for Gastrointestinal Disorders (TARGID)
University of Leuven
Leuven, Belgium

Peter Whorwell, MD*

Neurogastroenterology Unit
Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust
Wythenshawe Hospital
Manchester, UK

William E. Whitehead, PhD*†
Center for Functional GI & Motility Disorders
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC, USA

*Executive Committee
†Operational Committee

Country Principal Investigators

Payman Adibi MD • Isfahan, Iran | Viola Andresen MD • Hamburg, Germany | Timothy Archampong MBChB • Accra, Ghana | Marc A.  Benninga MD, RFF • Amsterdam, The Netherlands | Bruno Bonaz MD • Grenoble, France | Serhat Bor MD • Bornova Izmir, Turkey | Suck Chei Choi MD • Iksan, Korea | Enrico S. Corazziari MD, RFF • Rozzano, Italy | Dan L. Dumitrascu MD • Cluj-Napoca, Romania | Xuicai Fang MD, RFF • Beijing, China | Luis Bustos Fernandez MD • Buenos Aires, Argentina | Carlos Francisconi MD, RFF • Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil | Shin Fukudo MD, RFF • Sendai, Japan | Uday C. Ghoshal MD, RFF • Lucknow, India |  Albis Hani MD • Bogotá, Colombia | John Kellow MBBS, RFF • Sydney, Australia | Leonid Lazebnik MD • Moscow, Russia | Yeong Yeh Lee MD • Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia | Agata Mulak MD • Wroclaw, Poland | Edith Okeke BMBCH, RFF • Jos, Nigeria | M. Masudur Rahman MD • Dhaka, Bangladesh | Javier Santos MD, RFF • Baarcelona, Spain | Max Schmulson MD, RFF • Mexico City, Mexico | Mashiko Setshedi MBChB • Cape Town, South Africa | Magnus Simren MD, RFF • Gothenburg, Sweden | Ami Sperber MD, RFF • Beer-Sheva, Israel | Ari Fahrial Syam MD • Jakarta, Indonesia | Jan Tack MD, PhD, RFF • Leuven, Belgium | Stephen Vanner MD, RFF • Ontario, Canada | William Whitehead PhD, RFF • Chapel Hill, United States | Peter Whorwell MD, RFF • Manchester, UK | Reuben K. Wong MD • Singapore

Study Director, Ami D. Sperber, MD, MSPH, on the scope of the data and its impact on the science of epidemiology


The Rome Foundation gratefully acknowledges our industry sponsors, Allergan, Ironwood, Shire, Takeda Israel and the Romanian Society of Gastroenterology & Hepatology for their indispensable support. The study in Malaysia was funded by the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS) of the Ministry of Education of Malaysia (Reference: 203.PPSP.6171192).

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