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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2005 Feb 1;21(3):277-81.

Mental distress in patients with functional or organic dyspepsia: a comparative study with a sample of the general population.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland.



It has been argued that patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders have mental disorders more often than healthy controls and patients with organic disease. Most studies surveying psychological factors at the population level have relied on symptom questionnaires to diagnose functional dyspepsia. However, the symptom patterns alone are unable to adequately discriminate organic from functional dyspepsia.


To evaluate the frequency of mental distress in primary care patients with organic or functional dyspepsia and compare the findings with a sample of the Finnish general population.


Four-hundred consecutive, unselected dyspeptic patients were referred for upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and other diagnostic examinations. All patients compiled a self-administered questionnaire including the 12-item General Health Questionnaire to detect cases of recent mental disorders.


The prevalence of mental distress among patients with functional and organic dyspepsia was 38 and 36.4% respectively. The sex- and age-adjusted risk of having mental distress was nearly fourfold higher among patients with dyspepsia than in the general population.


Mental distress is common among patients with functional or organic dyspepsia. Nevertheless, there is no difference between patients with functional or organic dyspepsia in the prevalence or risk of mental distress.

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