Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH

New Evidence Validates Global Prevalence and Severity of Abdominal Cramping and Pain

    Ingelheim, Germany (ots/PRNewswire) -

    - For Healthcare Professional and Consumer Journalists

    - Not for Distribution to USA Media

    - Survey Shows 25% of World's Population Suffer From Common and Distressing Ailment That can be Effectively Treated

    New data presented at the premier international gastroenterology congress Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2006 today, show that the prevalence and severity of abdominal cramping, pain and discomfort have been globally underestimated. Insights from a global epidemiological study into this area show that one in four people around the world suffer from this troublesome, and sometimes debilitating, ailment.1 New evidence from the market research also helps to define this ailment and the symptoms associated with it, paving the way for effective and specific treatment and lifestyle changes.

    'These new results confirm abdominal cramping, pain and discomfort is suffered by people all over the world. We are now getting a clear country-by-country indication of how common and distressing this ailment and its symptoms are in the general population,' stated Dr Richard Locke of the Mayo Clinic.

    Until now, the nature of the symptoms associated with abdominal cramping have not been defined systematically, creating a great deal of confusion and misunderstanding among sufferers. In addition to prevalence, the study results show how disruptive this ailment and the symptoms associated with it can be for a sufferer. Two thirds of all sufferers indicated they experience sudden abdominal attacks that begin without warning.1 On average, 34.5% of these sufferers experience at least one fierce attack every week.[1]

    While abdominal cramping and pain is the central symptom associated with these attacks, it is often accompanied by additional digestive symptoms such as constipation, diarrhoea, bloating and flatulence.

    'For years I have been trying to find a way to explain the pain and discomfort I experience during a stomach attack. They usually come on without any warning, leaving me unable to concentrate on anything expect the pain. These attacks are especially embarrassing when I am at work in a meeting with colleagues as it literally stops me from functioning,' said Sarah Lockyer.

    According to Dr Locke, 'Sufferers do not like talking about the troublesome symptoms that accompany abdominal cramping, pain and discomfort. They often feel like they are the only ones experiencing these symptoms, or in some cases, that they have caused the attacks by eating the wrong foods or taking on too much stress.'

    Dr Locke continued, 'This ailment is characterised as a functional gastrointestinal disorder, which means that the abdomen appears to be normal but does not function properly. The symptoms need to be proactively managed and treated to improve the sufferer's quality of life.'

    Abdominal cramping, pain and discomfort can be exacerbated by a variety of factors, including: stress, eating and drinking habits, organic reasons such as food intolerances, stimulating substances such as coffee, or unhealthy lifestyle. While lifestyle changes can help a sufferer manage the symptoms associated with this ailment, on average 81.3% of sufferers take medication.1 As perceived by sufferers, medication shortens the duration of episodes considerably.1

    'The results of these studies show the onset and severity of symptoms associated with this ailment are similar for sufferers all over the world. Lifestyle changes and treatments, such as antispasmodics, can help alleviate symptoms and shorten the duration of abdominal attacks,' said Professor Eamonn Quigley of the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre at the National University of Ireland.

    Buscopan(R) is the leading global over the counter antispasmodic brand that provides reliable relief from the pain and discomfort due to abdominal cramps. The proven Buscopan(R) formula gently relaxes the cramped muscles of the digestive tract, and therefore relieves the spasms that cause abdominal pain.

    Boehringer Ingelheim Consumer Health Care

    The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 143 affiliates in 47 countries and almost 37,500 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

    In 2005, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of 9.5 billion euro while spending almost one fifth of net sales in its largest business segment Prescription Medicines on research and development.

    The Consumer Health Care business is one of the core businesses of the Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation and strives to serve customers worldwide with top-quality pharmaceuticals for self-medication and is widely known for its products such as: Pharmaton(R), Dulcolax(R), Bisolvon(R), Mucosolvan(R), Buscopan(R), Antistax(R) and Mucoangin(R).

    Boehringer Ingelheim Consumer Healthcare is ranked the 8th largest supplier of self-medication products.

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    Notes to Editors

    The epidemiology study was completed in two stages. First a community survey was completed in over 9,000 people in 9 countries. Then about 200 sufferers in eight countries participated in more in-depth interviews. The second phase was done in order to obtain insights into the nature of abdominal complaints, the characteristics in abdominal attacks and the role of drug therapy in dealing with these symptoms.


    1. Tygat GNJ, Paulo LG, Mueller-Lissner S, et al. The community prevalence of abdominal pain and cramps: A multi-national survey. Digestive Disease Week. 2006 Poster

ots Originaltext: Boehringer Ingelheim
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Ute E Schmidt, Corporate Division Communications, Phone:
+49-613-277-97296, Fax: +49-613-277-6601. Shire Health International,
Sara Singer, Project Director, Phone: +44-(0)20-7108-6521, Fax:

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