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Minerva Psichiatrica 2008 December;49(4):249-53

Copyright © 2008 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Functional gastrointestinal disorders: is there a link to psychological factors? A prospective study

Madhubhashini M. 1, Vyas N. S. 1, Navaneethan U. 2, Jayanthi V. 1

1 Department of Gastroenterology Stanley medical College, Chennai, India 2 Department of Internal Medicine University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, USA


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Aim. Psychosocial stress factors have been implicated in healthy individuals and in the clinical expression of various functional gastrointestinal disorders, but have not yet been studied clearly from the Indian subcontinent. The aim of the present study was to identify the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in patients with functional dyspepsia in a tertiary care referral center in South India.
Methods. Sixty consecutive patients, belonging to either sex, aged between 15 and 55 years, attending the Out-patient Gastroenterology Department of our Center over a period of 3 months, with symptoms referable to the upper gastrointestinal tract for more than three times a week, in the previous six months, were included in the study. Controls were asymptomatic attendees of patients from the same socio-economical strata. Both case and controls had an upper endoscopy and were included in the study only if found normal. The selected cohorts were subjected to a multiphasic questionnaire survey in the regional language to assess their mental status after individuals consent.
Results. There were 42 patients (70%) with at least one psychiatric disorder in the study population compared to 20 controls (33%). The difference in the two groups was statistically significant (P<0.05). Amongst men, the psychiatric disorders in the study group were significantly high below 35 years (15 patients) than those above 35 years (4 patients) but almost equally distributed below and above the age of 35 years in women (10 and 13 patients respectively).
Conclusion. The prevalence of functional gastrointestinal disorders is equally prevalent in either sex and the presentation of the disorders occur at a much earlier age amongst South Indians in contrast to the West.

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