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Schweiz Med Wochenschr. 1998 May 30;128(22):874-9.

[Prevalence of upper abdominal complaints and their effect on the quality of life and utilization of medical resources. Swiss Primary Care Group].

[Article in German]


The authors present the results obtained in Switzerland, as part of an international survey (DIGEST), on 3 months' prevalence of upper digestive symptoms (UDS) and their influence on quality of life and consumption of medical services. 514 randomized adults from the general population in 8 different cities were interviewed. In these interviews data were recorded concerning demographic and socio economic aspects, quality of life, severity and frequency of UDS, consultations and medication. The sub-population with relevant UDS (i.e. UDS at least once a week and/or of moderate to severe degree) was compared with the rest of the population interviewed. 19% of the interviewees reported relevant UDS; of these, two thirds were women. No differences were found between people with and without UDS as far as education, professional activities, consumption of alcohol or smoking are concerned. The most frequent symptoms reported were fullness, bloating and nausea. However, daily activities were most impaired by nausea, epigastric pain and heartburn. Interviewees with UDS more frequently reported "life events" in the preceding year (48% vs 33%). Interviewees with UDS also more frequently reported back pain (7% vs 2%) and migraine (10% vs 6%). Furthermore, more interviewees with UDS reported sick leave (11% vs 3%); they also had a poorer life quality score (74 vs 89, PGWBI), reported more medical visits (50% vs 19%) and consumed more medication, both prescribed (65% vs 25%) and non-prescribed (OTC: 70% vs 31%).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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