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Increased Numbers of Women, Older Individuals, and Blacks Receive Health Care for Dyspepsia in the United States

Rabeneck, Linda M.D., M.P.H.; Menke, Terri Ph.D.

Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: April 2001 - Volume 32 - Issue 4 - p 307-309
Clinical Research

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.

From the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D) Center of Excellence and the Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.

Submitted January 26, 2000.

Accepted October 30, 2000.

Supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D) Houston Center of Excellence. Dr. Rabeneck is the recipient of a VA HSR&D Advanced Research Career Development Award.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Linda Rabeneck, VA Medical Center (111D), 2002 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030, U.S.A. E-mail:

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.