The distribution of gastrointestinal symptoms by socio-economic class is unknown.
|Diarrhea was not associated with social class.|
|Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology|
In this study, doctors from Australia and the United States evaluated the influence of social class on GI symptoms in an urban sample of Australian adults.
The team determined the prevalence of 25 GI symptoms using a postal questionnaire.
They used 5 symptom groups: "esophageal", "dysmotility-like", "nausea/vomiting", "constipation", and "diarrhea".
In addition, social class was assigned using a census-based measure of area disadvantage and highest level of completed education.
The doctors found that area disadvantage and poorer education were strongly associated with "esophageal" and "dysmotility-like" symptoms.
They identified persistent trends for higher symptom rates amongst lower social classes.
When defined by area disadvantage, the odds ratios for "nausea/vomiting" were significantly greater in the lower class group.
In comparison, the team found that "constipation" symptoms were significantly elevated among the upper-middle social class.
Diarrhea was not associated with social class whether defined by area disadvantage or education.
Dr Stuart Howell's team concluded, "Low social class is a risk factor for upper GI complaints".