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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2005 Jun 15;21(12):1483-90.

Gastro-oesophageal reflux is more prevalent in Western dyspeptics: a prospective comparison of British and South-East Asian patients with dyspepsia.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University Hospital Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.



There is a paucity of data directly comparing dyspepsia in Western and Eastern populations.


To compare clinical symptoms, epidemiological factors and endoscopic diagnoses in two sample populations with dyspepsia from the United Kingdom and South-East Asia in a cross-sectional study.


Patients with uncomplicated dyspepsia attending endoscopy units in Leeds, UK, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, were prospectively interviewed and underwent subsequent endoscopy.


A total of 1003 Malaysian patients (January 2002 to August 2003) and 597 Caucasian British patients (January 2000 to October 2002) were studied. The mean age was 48.7 +/- 15.8 and 47.5 +/- 13.8 years for the Malaysian and British patients respectively (P = NS). There was a higher proportion of cigarette smoking (35.7% vs. 12.4%, P < 0.0001) and alcohol consumption (34.4% vs. 2.0%, P < 0.0001) amongst British patients, but no difference in non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use nor having Helicobacter pylori infection. Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms were more common in British compared with South-East Asian patients [heartburn (72% vs. 41%), regurgitation (66% vs. 29.8%) and dysphagia (21.1% vs. 7.3%), P < 0.0001]. This correlated with an increased endoscopic finding of oesophagitis (26.8% vs. 5.8%) and columnar-lined oesophagus (4.4% vs. 0.9%) amongst British patients (P < 0.001). A logistic regression model revealed that British Caucasian race (OR 9.7; 95% CI = 5.0-18.8), male gender (OR 2.0; 95% CI = 1.4-2.9) and not having H. pylori infection (OR 0.5; 95% CI = 0.3-0.7) were independent predictors for oesophagitis.


GERD is more common in British compared with South-East Asian dyspeptic patients suggesting that race and/or western lifestyle are important risk factors.

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