Dyspepsia, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome Among Blood Donors

Khadijeh Hatami, Akram Pourshams, Kourosh Azimi, Mehdi Sarrafi, Maryam Mehrabani, Pardis Mostajabi, MohammadReza Akbari


Introduction: Dyspepsia, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are the most common gastrointestinal diseases. Their prevalence is 18-30%, 25-30% and 10-15% in western communities and 8-14%, 3-7% and 3-5% in eastern countries, respectively. There is no adequate data about their prevalence in our country. The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of these diseases among Iranian healthy blood donors.

Materials and Methods: A total of 3517 [M=3115 (88.6%), F=402 (11.4%)] randomly selected blood donors were enrolled in the study at Tehran blood donation center in 2001. Trained general physicians interviewed them for symptoms of IBS based on Rome I criteria, GERD based on heart burn or acid regurgitation and dyspepsia based on classic symptoms over the past 12 months.

Results: Prevalence of ulcer-like dyspepsia was 7.3% (n=259) [M=227 (7.3%), F=32 (8%)]. Prevalence of dysmotility-like dyspepsia was 2.8% (n=98) [M=75 (2.4%), F=23 (5.8%), P‹0.001]. Prevalence of GERD at least once a week and once a month was 11.3% and 8/8% respectively without any difference between sex groups. Prevalence of IBS was 4.9% in men and 11.3% in women (P‹0.001).

Conclusions: All of these diseases are common among Iranian blood donors. Prevalence of dyspepsia is less than the western countries but similar to those of Southeast Asia. Prevalence of IBS and GERD among Iranian blood donors is similar to the western reports but higher than those of Southeast Asia. Prevalence of these diseases in our general population is expected to be higher, because blood donors are usually healthier than the general population.


Ulcer-like dyspepsia; Dysmotility-like dyspepsia; Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD); Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS); Rome I criteria; Heartburn; Regurgitation

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