Ethnic, Racial, and Sex Differences in Etiology, Symptoms, Treatment, and Symptom Outcomes of Patients With Gastroparesis

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2019 Jul;17(8):1489-1499.e8. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2018.10.050. Epub 2018 Nov 4.


Background & aims: Gastroparesis is a chronic disorder of the stomach characterized by nausea, vomiting, early satiety, postprandial fullness, and abdominal pain. There is limited information on gastroparesis in minority populations. We assessed ethnic, racial, and sex variations in the etiology, symptoms, quality of life, gastric emptying, treatments, and symptom outcomes of patients with gastroparesis.

Methods: We collected information from the National Institutes of Health Gastroparesis Consortium on 718 adult patients, from September 2007 through December 2017. Patients were followed every 4 or 6 months, when data were collected on medical histories, symptoms (based on answers to the PAGI-SYM questionnaires), and quality of life (based on SF-36). Follow-up information collected at 1 year (48 week) was used in this analysis. Comparisons were made between patients of self-reported non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic ethnicities, as well as and between male and female patients.

Results: Our final analysis included 552 non-Hispanic whites (77%), 83 persons of Hispanic ethnicity (12%), 62 non-Hispanic blacks (9%), 603 women (84%), and 115 men (16%). A significantly higher proportion of non-Hispanic blacks (60%) had gastroparesis of diabetic etiology than of non-Hispanic whites (28%); non-Hispanic blacks also had more severe retching (2.5 vs 1.7 score) and vomiting (2.9 vs 1.8 score) and a higher percentage were hospitalized in the past year (66% vs 38%). A significantly higher proportion of Hispanics had gastroparesis of diabetic etiology (59%) than non-Hispanic whites (28%), but Hispanics had less-severe nausea (2.7 vs 3.3 score), less early satiety (3.0 vs 3.5 score), and a lower proportion used domperidone (8% vs 21%) or had a peripherally inserted central catheter (1% vs 7%). A higher proportion of women had gastroparesis of idiopathic etiology (69%) than men (46%); women had more severe symptoms of stomach fullness (3.6 vs 3.1 score), early satiety (3.5 vs 2.9 score), postprandial fullness (3.7 vs 3.1 score), bloating (3.3 vs 2.6 score), stomach visibly larger (3.0 vs 2.1 score), and upper abdominal pain (2.9 vs 2.4 score). A lower proportion of women were hospitalized in past year (39% vs 53% of men).

Conclusions: In patients with gastroparesis, etiologies, symptom severity, and treatments vary among races and ethnicities and between sexes. Identifier: NCT01696747.

Keywords: Causes; Gender; PICC; QoL.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ethnicity*
  • Female
  • Gastric Emptying / physiology*
  • Gastroparesis / diagnosis
  • Gastroparesis / ethnology*
  • Gastroparesis / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Quality of Life*
  • Racial Groups*
  • Registries*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology

Associated data