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      Prevalence and severity of dyspepsia in Saudi Arabia: A survey-based study

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          Background and aim

          Dyspepsia is one of the gastrointestinal diseases that is very common worldwide. Despite its prevalence globally, which ranges between 1.8% and 57%, no study has assessed the prevalence in Saudi Arabia. This study was aimed to investigate the prevalence and severity of dyspepsia in the general population of Saudi Arabia.


          A modified Short-Form Leeds Dyspepsia Questionnaire (SF-LDQ) was utilized to conduct our study. The questionnaire score ranges between 0 and 32, where zero indicated no dyspepsia, a score of 1–8 indicated mild dyspepsia, a score of 9–15 indicated moderate dyspepsia and a score of higher than 15 represented severe dyspepsia. Socio-demographic data of the participants including age, gender, marital status, BMI, job description, insurance, and education level were collected. Using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 21.0 (SPSS), a univariate analysis was performed to assess the association of participants characteristics with the prevalence of dyspepsia, whereas logistic regression analysis was used to correlate their characteristics with the severity of dyspepsia.


          During a period of one month, March 1st to 31st 2019, a total of 778 participants have completed the survey. Most of them were females accounting for 68% of the population, married (63.9%), middle aged (range 34–51 years old) and literate with high school education (72.3%). Ninety two percent (92%) of the study population were found to experience dyspepsia. However, there is no significant association between socio-demographic characteristics and dyspepsia or its severity as well.


          The prevalence of dyspepsia in Saudi Arabia is the highest in the gulf region which would potentially lead to more GI complications, and associate to poor health and economic outcomes. Education programs are essential to raise the people awareness of dyspepsia and the appropriate ways to prevent it.

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          Most cited references 37

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          Dyspepsia in England and Scotland.

          A validated postal questionnaire has been used to establish the prevalence of dyspeptic symptoms in five geographical locations from the south coast of England to the north of Scotland. The six month period prevalence of dyspepsia in the 7428 respondents to the questionnaire is 41% and equal between the sexes, with similar prevalence rates in the centres studied. There is considerable overlap between upper abdominal symptoms and symptoms of heartburn; 56% of patients with dyspepsia experience both groups of symptoms. Symptom frequency falls progressively with age in men and women, but the proportion of people seeking medical advice for dyspepsia rises with age. One quarter of the dyspeptic patients studied have consulted a general practitioner about their symptoms. This study suggests that the prevalence of dyspepsia in the community has changed little over the last 30 years, despite evidence that the frequency of peptic ulcer disease is falling. Symptom prevalence is unrelated to social class, but this factor is associated with consultation behaviour, the consultation rate rising from 17% in social class 1 to 29% in social class 4. The use of investigations--barium meal and endoscopy--is similarly related to social class; the lowest rate for ulcer diagnosis (4.7%) is found in social class 1 and the highest (17.1%) in social class 5.
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            Functional dyspepsia impairs quality of life in the adult population.

            Data on the impact of functional dyspepsia on health-related quality of life in the general adult population are scarce.   To explore the impact of functional dyspepsia applying the Rome III definition on health-related quality of life in the general population. A random sample of an adult Swedish population (n=1001, The Kalixanda study) was invited to undergo an oesophagogastroduodenoscopy. An extended abdominal symptom questionnaire and Short Form-36 (SF-36) questionnaire, which includes eight domains measuring physical, mental and social aspects of quality of life, were completed at the clinic visit just before oesophagogastroduodenoscopy. Two hundred and two (20%) individuals reported uninvestigated dyspepsia (UID), 157 (16%) functional dyspepsia (FD), 52 (5%) epigastric pain syndrome (EPS) and 122 (12%) postprandial distress syndrome (PDS). UID, FD and PDS had a clinically meaningful (a ≥ 5 point) and statistically significant impact (P<0.05) on health-related quality of life in all SF-36 domains except for Role Emotional. EPS had a significant impact on Bodily Pain and Vitality. Overlap of FD with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) had a significant impact on Bodily Pain (P=0.002) and General Health (P=0.02) while FD overlap with gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms (GERS) had a significant impact on Bodily Pain (P=0.02) compared with FD without any overlap with IBS or GERS. Functional dyspepsia impacts all main domains describing physical, mental and social aspects of health-related quality of life in the general population. Overlap of functional dyspepsia with irritable bowel syndrome or gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms impacts the domain related to bodily pain. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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              The prevalence and risk factors of functional dyspepsia in a multiethnic population in the United States.

              The prevalence of functional dyspepsia (FD) in the general population is not known. The aim of this study is to measure the prevalence of FD and its risk factors in a multiethnic volunteer sample of the U.S. population. One thousand employees at the Houston VA Medical Center were targeted with a symptom questionnaire asking about upper abdominal symptoms, followed by a request to undergo endsocopy. Dyspepsia was defined by the presence of epigastric pain, fullness, nausea, or vomiting, and FD was defined as dyspepsia in the absence of esophageal erosions, gastric ulcers, or duodenal ulcers or erosions. The presence of dyspepsia and FD was examined in multiple logistic regression analyses. A total of 465 employees completed the relevant questions and of those 203 had endoscopic examination. The age-adjusted prevalence rate of dyspepsia was 31.9 per 100 (95% CI: 26.7-37.1), and 15.8 per 100 (95% CI: 9.6-22.0) if participants with concomitant heartburn or acid regurgitation were excluded. Subjects with dyspepsia were more likely to report smoking, using antacids, aspirin or nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and consulting a physician for their symptoms (p < 0.05) than participants without dyspepsia. Most (64.5%) participants with dyspepsia who underwent endoscopy had FD. The age-adjusted prevalence rate of FD was 29.2 per 100 (95% CI: 21.9-36.5), and 15.0 per 100 (6.7-23.3) if subjects with GERD were excluded. Apart from a trend towards association with older age in the multiple regression analysis, there were no significant predictors of FD among participants with dyspepsia. Most subjects with dyspepsia have FD. The prevalence of FD is high but predictors of FD remain poorly defined.

                Author and article information

                Saudi Pharm J
                Saudi Pharm J
                Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal : SPJ
                30 July 2020
                September 2020
                30 July 2020
                : 28
                : 9
                : 1062-1067
                [a ]Department of Clinical Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy – King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
                [b ]Department of Basic Sciences, Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz College for Emergency Medical Services, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author. aalwhaibi@
                © 2020 The Author(s)

                This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (



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