Public Release:  Chronic gastrointestinal symptoms in Korean population

World Journal of Gastroenterology

Chronic gastrointestinal symptoms are highly prevalent in different geographic populations and cause various gastrointestinal symptoms that greatly inconvenience the lives of those affected. Examples include GERD, uninvestigated dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome, and chronic constipation. These problems have an impact on the individual's quality of life. There is a lack of community-based research evaluating the impact of chronic gastrointestinal symptoms on the quality of life.

A research article to be published on November7, 2008 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses this issue. A research team led by Professor Choi and Jeong from The Catholic University of Korea performed a cross-sectional survey on randomly selected residents in Asan-Si, Korea. The authors assessed chronic gastrointestinal symptoms, using a Rome II based questionnaire. HRQOL was assessed using the Korean version of the SF-36. Of the 1807 eligible subjects, 1417 (78.4%: male 762; female 655) were surveyed, with a face-to-face interview.

The prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), defined as heartburn and/or acid regurgitation experienced at least weekly, was 3.5. The prevalence of uninvestigated dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and chronic constipation, defined by Rome II criteria was 11.7%, 2.2%, and 2.6%, respectively. Compared with those not having chronic gastrointestinal symptoms (n = 1153), subjects with GERD (n = 50), uninvestigated dyspepsia (n = 166) and IBS (n = 31) had significantly worse scores on most domains of the SF-36 scales. The negative impact was greater in females, the elderly, subjects with a low economic class, and those with higher physician visits, and overlapping symptoms.

Based upon this research, it can be concluded that the quality of life was significantly impaired in subjects with GERD, uninvestigated dyspepsia and IBS. It can be reasoned that a better understanding of the impact of these disorders on all aspects of health, both mental and physical, may help in planning appropriate treatment interventions in these conditions.

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Reference: Jeong JJ, Choi MG, Cho YS, Lee SG, Oh JH, Park JM, Cho YK, Lee IS, Kim SW, Han SW, Choi KY, Chung IS. Chronic gastrointestinal symptoms and quality of life in the Korean population. World J Gastroenterol 2008; 14(41):6388-6394 http://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/14/6388.asp

Correspondence to: Myung-Gyu Choi, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kangnam St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, #137-040, 505, Banpo-Dong, Seocho-Gu, Seoul, South Korea. choim@catholic.ac.kr Telephone: +82-2-5902471 Fax: +82-2-5902387

About World Journal of Gastroenterology

World Journal of Gastroenterology (WJG), a leading international journal in gastroenterology and hepatology, has established a reputation for publishing first class research on esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, viral hepatitis, colorectal cancer, and H pylori infection and provides a forum for both clinicians and scientists. WJG has been indexed and abstracted in Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, Science Citation Index Expanded (also known as SciSearch) and Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, Index Medicus, MEDLINE and PubMed, Chemical Abstracts, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Abstracts Journals, Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology and Hepatology, CAB Abstracts and Global Health. ISI JCR 2003-2000 IF: 3.318, 2.532, 1.445 and 0.993. WJG is a weekly journal published by WJG Press. The publication dates are the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th day of every month. WJG is supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 30224801 and No. 30424812, and was founded with the name of China National Journal of New Gastroenterology on October 1, 1995, and renamed WJG on January 25, 1998.

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