Background: Life events and stress may be important for functional dyspepsia and duodenal ulcer.
Methods: The perception of life events in the preceding 6 months was recorded in 100 patients with functional dyspepsia, 100 patients with duodenal ulcer, and 100 healthy controls. In addition, psychologic and social factors were assessed.
Results: Patients with functional dyspepsia experienced significantly more life events than patients with duodenal ulcer and healthy controls. The difference in life events between the groups was due to the difference in stressful life events. The patients with functional dyspepsia had higher levels of state-trait anxiety, general psychopathology, and depression than patients with duodenal ulcer and healthy controls.
Conclusion: Patients with functional dyspepsia had higher scores on negative life events than patients with duodenal ulcer and healthy controls. This may be causally related to the higher levels of anxiety, depression, and general psychopathology in these patients.