Letters to the Editor
Letter: dyspepsia, anxiety and depression
Article first published online: 4 DEC 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Volume 37, Issue 1, pages 166–167, January 2013
How to Cite
Mahadeva, S. and Goh, K.-L. (2013), Letter: dyspepsia, anxiety and depression. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 37: 166–167. doi: 10.1111/apt.12126
- Issue published online: 4 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 4 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 12 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Received: 11 OCT 2012
We read with interest the recent article by Mak et al., in which the investigators from Hong Kong reported an 8% community prevalence of dyspepsia using the Rome III criteria, which was strongly associated with anxiety and depression. Whilst this study adds to the body of literature from other community and institution-based studies on the association of dyspepsia with psychological distress, we would like to highlight several issues. First, the prevalence of dyspepsia at 8% in this study is significantly lower compared to recent publications from other urban Asian populations. We believe that this may have resulted from the restrictive definition employed by the Rome III dyspepsia criteria, which is thought to be less representative of both Western and Eastern patients with true dyspepsia. Furthermore, this exclusive definition may have resulted in a failure of the study to demonstrate important socioeconomic associations with dyspepsia and dyspepsia-related medical consultation, an issue which is pertinent to the Asian region.
On a separate note, the authors concluded that preceding mental disorders were not a risk factor for dyspepsia, as their data suggested a coincidental onset of anxiety and depression with dyspepsia. Whilst clearly of interest, we believe that additional data on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) may have supplemented this observation. A low HRQOL has been shown to predict the onset of dyspepsia, is strongly associated with the presence of dyspepsia and known to influence dyspepsia-related consultation. In addition, differences in HRQOL are known to exist between functional and organic dyspepsia, but this cannot be explained by variation in psychological disorders alone.
In short, we welcome the findings from Mak et al., but feel that a restrictive definition of dyspepsia and the omission of HRQOL data were some limitations of this interesting study.
Declaration of personal and funding interests: None.