June 26, 2015
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Anxiety increases risk for developing functional dyspepsia

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Results from a population-based 10-year follow-up study in Sweden showed anxiety, but not depression, significantly increased risk for new-onset functional dyspepsia.

The objective of this study was to determine if there may be a causal link between anxiety or depression and functional dyspepsia or gastroesophageal reflux symptoms. Baseline data was obtained from 1998 to 2001 from 3,000 participants from the Kalixanda study who were randomly selected from the Swedish national population register and completed the Abdominal Symptom Questionnaire (ASQ). From this cohort, 1,000 were randomly selected to undergo esophagogastroduodenoscopy and complete a more comprehensive ASQ and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Then from this subsequent cohort, 887 were invited to participate in the follow-up study from June to August 2010 using the same questionnaires.

Among the 703 responders, 15.6% had functional dyspepsia at baseline and 13.3% at the follow-up examination (48 new cases); 38.8% had gastroesophageal reflux symptoms without organic disease at baseline and 39.8% at the follow-up examination (93 new cases).

The investigators found major anxiety was associated with functional dyspepsia at the follow-up examination (OR = 6.3; 99% CI, 1.64-24.16); anxiety was associated with postprandial distress syndrome at baseline (OR = 4.83; 99% CI, 1.24-18.76) and at the follow-up examination (OR = 8.12; 99% CI, 2.13-30.85); and anxiety at baseline was associated with new-onset functional dyspepsia at the follow-up examination (OR = 7.61; 99% CI, 1.21-47.73).

“In conclusion, anxiety, but not depression, precedes the onset of new [functional dyspepsia], but not [gastroesophageal reflux symptoms], over a 10-year follow-up evaluation, suggesting a strong association,” the researchers wrote. “Further exploration of the mechanisms linking anxiety with [functional dyspepsia] may yield new approaches to interventions that reduce or eliminate symptoms.” – by Adam Leitenberger

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.