Aims: To determine the prevalence of dyspepsia and associated antisecretory medication usage, and their associations with H. pylori infection in the general population. In addition, to compare the importance of H. pylori infection relative to other potential causes of dyspepsia: alcohol, smoking and obesity.
Methods: The study examined a random population sample of 784 men and 827 women from Glasgow. They completed a validated dyspepsia questionnaire and had their H. pylori status determined by serology.
Results: The overall prevalence of dyspepsia was 12%; prescribed antisecretory medication had been used over the last 6 months by 7%. The odds ratio (95% CI) for dyspepsia, comparing H. pylori-positives to negatives was 1.79 (1.03, 3.09) for men and 1.11 (0.70, 1.78) for women. Ever-smoking (both sexes) and obesity (women) had higher odds ratios for dyspepsia than did H. pylori. Adjustment for age, social class, ever-smoking, ever-drinking and obesity reduced the H. pylori odds ratios for dyspepsia to 1.38 (0.73, 2.60) for men and 0.99 (0. 57, 1.73) for women. The association between H. pylori and antisecretory medication usage was similar to that for dyspepsia.
Conclusion: Obesity and smoking are more important risk factors, for dyspepsia and antisecretory medication usage, than is H. pylori. Reducing the burden and cost of dyspepsia will require lifestyle modification and not merely H. pylori eradication.