Dyspepsia is common, and the condition is often chronic, with a relapsing and remitting nature.
Factors influencing the decision to consult a physician with symptoms remain unclear.
Dr Alexander Ford and colleagues from England conducted a 10-year follow-up longitudinal survey of a community-screening program for Helicobacter pylori.
All surviving, traceable participants were contacted by validated postal dyspepsia questionnaire.
|Lower socioeconomic status was a risk factors for consultation|
|American Journal of Gastroenterology|
Baseline demographic data, dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptom data, and quality of life at study entry were already on file.
The research team requested consent to examine primary care records.
The researchers evaluated nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug and aspirin use, and dyspepsia and IBS-related consultations over the 10-year study period.
Of 8,407 individuals originally involved, 39% gave consent to examination of primary care records.
The mean age of included individuals was 55 years, and 45% were male.
The team found that 53% had dyspepsia, and 42% of these consulted a primary care physician as a result.
Following multivariate logistic regression, H. pylori infection, and lower socioeconomic status were independent risk factors for consultation.
The researchers observed that frequent or severe symptoms, and increasing age were independent risk factors for consultation.
Dr Ford's team commented, "Reasons for consulting a physician with dyspepsia are multifactorial, but H. pylori infection, lower socioeconomic status, frequent or severe symptoms, and increasing age are independent predictors of consultation."