Background and aims: Dyspepsia is a common complaint in the general population. The prevalence, demography and economic implications of dyspepsia in India are not known; we studied these using a detailed symptom questionnaire.
Methods: 2549 presumably healthy adults (mean age 37.2 [14.1] years; 1441 men) were interviewed. Gastrointestinal symptoms, their investigation and treatment, dietary history and history of addictions were noted. Dyspepsia was defined as abdominal fullness or upper abdominal pain present for at least one month; irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) was defined by Manning's criteria. Based on the symptom profile, subjects were divided into three broad groups: no dyspepsia (n=1695; 945 men), dyspepsia with (110; 63 men) or without (664; 382 men) IBS, and IBS alone (80; 51 men).
Results: 774 subjects (30.4%) had dyspepsia; the median (range) duration of symptoms was 24 (1-360) months. Abdominal fullness (n=614), abdominal pain (374), heartburn (272) and belching (271) were the most common symptoms; significant symptoms (present at least once a week) occurred in 306 subjects (12.0% of the population). More than half the subjects had symptoms suggestive of mixed type of dyspepsia; dysmotility-like dyspepsia was the next most common (n=257; 33.2%). The frequency of dyspepsia was not related to type of diet or consumption of spices. Dyspepsia was more prevalent in subjects who abused tobacco or alcohol. Three hundred and twenty-one subjects with dyspepsia (41.4%) had visited a physician for their complaints and had received treatment with antacids, acid suppressors or prokinetic drugs; 4.5% and 7.2% had undergone previous endoscopy and ultrasonography, respectively; dyspeptic subjects underwent more investigations (p<0.001) than those with IBS.
Conclusions: Dyspepsia is reported by almost one-third of the population in Mumbai; significant symptoms occur in 12%. Forty percent of these subjects receive treatment and only a small number undergo endoscopy or ultrasonography.