Goals: The objectives of this research were to use a national probability sample of the U.S. population to determine the demographic characteristics of individuals who obtained care for dyspepsia, to compare these demographic characteristics with those of the U.S. population, and to describe the amount of health care that these individuals received.
Study: We analyzed data from the 1987 National Medical Expenditure Survey, which is based on a national probability sample of the U.S. adult population.
Results: Approximately 3.6 million individuals, or 2% of U.S. adults, obtained care for dyspepsia. Compared with the U.S. population, a predominance of women, individuals 65 years or older, and African Americans obtained care for dyspepsia. Expenditures for health care totaled $2.5 billion.
Conclusions: Given the major impact of dyspepsia on U.S. health care resources, a critical issue facing investigators is to identify the most cost-effective approach to managing these patients.