Risk Factors for Dyspepsia in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Community-based Study and Multivariable Predictive Model





Ghana, Sub-Saharan Africa, Koforidua, dyspepsia, peptic ulcer disease


Purpose: Low middle-income countries (LMICs) are particularly affected by dyspepsia and peptic ulcer disease. However, the true prevalence in rural/suburban areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, such as the Eastern Region of Ghana, remains unknown.  The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors of dyspepsia in Sub-Saharan Africa. Methods: A population-based survey was conducted in Ghana’s Eastern Region of adults not seeking active medical treatment. Demographic, medical history, and current symptoms of dyspepsia were obtained through a cross-sectional survey. 149 individuals were included in the survey. Results: Prevalence of dyspepsia was 25.5% (38/149). Risk factors for dyspepsia include NSAID use (OR 2.16; 95% CI 0.91 to 5.55, p = 0.09) and previous diagnosis of anemia (OR 4.64; 95% CI 1.45 to 15.45, p = 0.01). Higher level of education was found to be protective against dyspepsia (OR 0.22; 95% CI 0.06 to 0.49, p = 0.03). A multivariable, predictive model created from survey data was found to predict 74% of participants with dyspepsia. Conclusions: Dyspepsia has a high prevalence in Eastern Ghana. Recognition of dyspepsia can be made at the community level with minimal resources and can identify disease and direct early and low cost intervention for dyspepsia.