Dyspepsia and gastroesophageal reflux are highly prevalent in the general population, but they are believed to be separate entities.
Professor Alexander Ford and colleaguess from the United Kingdom conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to estimate the prevalence of dyspepsia in individuals with gastroesophageal reflux symptoms (GERS), and to quantify overlap between the disorders.
The team searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, and EMBASE Classic databases to identify population-based studies reporting the prevalence of dyspepsia and GERS in adults, defined using specific symptom-based criteria or based on answers to questionnaires.
The researchers calculated pooled prevalence values, according to study location and criteria used to define weekly GERS or dyspepsia.
|The prevalence of dyspepsia in individuals with weekly GERS was 44%|
|Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology|
The degree of overlap between dyspepsia and GERS was examined.
Of 14,132 papers evaluated, the team found that 79 reported prevalence of weekly GERS.
The researchers found that 19 of these study populations, comprizing 111,459 participants, also reported the proportion of individuals with dyspepsia.
The prevalence of dyspepsia in individuals with weekly GERS was 44%.
The team observed that the pooled odds ratio for dyspepsia in individuals with weekly GERS, compared with those without, was 6.94.
The odds ratio for dyspepsia in individuals with weekly GERS was significantly higher in all geographical regions studied and for all diagnostic criteria.
The pooled degree of overlap between dyspepsia and GERS was 26%.
Professor Ford's team comments, "The odds of dyspepsia in individuals with weekly GERS is almost 7-fold that of individuals without GERS."
"Dyspepsia and GERS overlap in more than 25% of individuals."
"Reasons for this remain speculative, but might include shared pathophysiological mechanisms or residual confounding factors."
"However, patients with GERS should be questioned about coexistent dyspepsia, to optimize treatment approaches."