Dr Revicki and colleagues examined the prevalence of upper gastrointestinal symptoms and symptom groupings.
The researchers determined the impact on disability days in a nationally representative US sample.
The research team conducted a telephone survey of 21,128 adults.
|Prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms during the past 3 months was 45%|
|Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology|
During the telephone survey, the team included questions about the presence of upper gastrointestinal symptoms during the past 3 months.
The researchers categorized respondents as symptomatic, those that reported gastrointestinal symptoms once per month, or asymptomatic.
The survey included questions about missed work, leisure activity, or household activity days.
The team identified symptom groupings by using factor analysis.
Cluster analysis was used by the researchers to assign respondents into distinct groups on the basis of these symptom groupings.
The team found that the prevalence of an average of 1 or more upper gastrointestinal symptoms during the past 3 months was 45%.
The researchers also found that the most common symptoms experienced during the past 3 months were early satiety, heartburn, and postprandial fullness.
The team identified 4 symptom groupings with factor analysis that included heartburn/regurgitation, nausea/vomiting, bloating/abdominal pain, and early satiety/loss of appetite.
The researchers identified 5 respondent clusters with the largest as primarily early satiety/fullness and gastroesophageal reflux disease-like symptoms.
The team noted 2 smaller clusters that reflected nausea and vomiting, and a heterogeneous symptom profile.
Symptomatic respondents reported significantly more missed work, leisure, and household activity days than asymptomatic respondents.
Dr Revicki's team concludes, “Factor analysis separated gastrointestinal symptoms into groupings reflecting gastroesophageal reflux disease and dyspepsia.”
“Other gastrointestinal symptoms included early satiety, postprandial fullness, and loss of appetite; bloating and abdominal pain/discomfort; and nausea and vomiting.”
“These upper gastrointestinal symptoms were associated with significant loss of work and activity days.”