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Value Health. 2011 Jul-Aug;14(5 Suppl 1):S126-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jval.2011.05.021.

Influence of organic and functional dyspepsia on work productivity: the HEROES-DIP study.

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Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, School of Medicine, Programa de Pós-graduação: Ciências em Gastroenterologia e Hepatologia, Porto Alegre, Brazil.



Dyspepsia is defined as persistent or recurrent abdominal pain or discomfort centered in the upper abdomen. Dyspepsia represents up to 8.3% of all primary care physician visits and causes huge economic costs to patients and to the economy as a whole. The aim of this study was to measure the influence of dyspepsia on work productivity of people within the Brazilian workforce.


Adult patients were enrolled if they met the Roma III criteria for uninvestigated dyspepsia. All patients answered a demographic questionnaire. Productivity impairment was measured by the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment questionnaire. Subjects underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and were classified as having functional or organic dyspepsia. The study protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Brazil.


Eight hundred fifty patients with dyspepsia were evaluated: 628 were women (73.9%); mean age was 46.4 ± 12.9 years; 387 (45.5%) were active workers. Among active workers, 32.2% mentioned that dyspepsia had caused absenteeism from work during the preceding week and 78% reported a reduction of the work productivity (presenteeism). The lost work productivity score was 35.7% among all employed patients. The affect on work productivity was similar between patients with functional or organic dyspepsia.


Our study showed an important influence of dyspepsia on work productivity. We did not find any statistically significant difference on the influence on work between patients with organic dyspepsia and functional dyspepsia. The social impact of these findings is underscored by taking into account the prevalence (up to 40%) of this condition in Brazil.


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