Etiology of dyspepsia: four hundred unselected consecutive patients in general practice

Scand J Gastroenterol. 1995 Jun;30(6):519-23. doi: 10.3109/00365529509089783.


Background: Four hundred consecutive unselected patients with dyspepsia in health care centers were investigated. The aim of this study was to assess the frequency of various causes of dyspepsia in primary care and to evaluate the usefulness of the latest definition of functional dyspepsia.

Methods: Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, upper abdominal ultrasound, a test for lactose intolerance, and basic laboratory screening were performed in every patient.

Results: Esophagitis was the cause of symptoms in 15%, symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux without esophagitis in 12%, duodenal ulcer in 9%, gastric ulcer in 4%, erosive duodenitis in 2%, lactose intolerance in 9%, gallstone disease in 2%, and malignancy in 2%. Other more infrequent causes of dyspepsia were giardiasis, celiac disease, erosive gastritis, and chronic pancreatitis. One hundred and thirty-five patients had functional dyspepsia with subgroups of ulcer-like (22%), dysmotility-like (28%), and nonspecific (50%). Irritable bowel syndrome was diagnosed in 37 patients (9%).

Conclusions: The cause of dyspepsia was organic in 45%. Functional disorders, when symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux was included, were diagnosed in 55%. The latest classification of functional dyspepsia is not in accordance with the symptom complex.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Dyspepsia / classification*
  • Dyspepsia / diagnosis
  • Dyspepsia / epidemiology
  • Dyspepsia / etiology*
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal
  • Family Practice / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Distribution