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Time trends in dyspepsia and association with H. pylori and work-related stress—An observational study in white collar employees in 1996 and 2015

by Stefanie Braig, Simon Berger, David Rothenbacher, Stefanie Schmid, Thomas Seufferlein, Hermann Brenner, Dietrich Rothenbacher, Harald Gündel


We aimed to describe time trends in functional dyspepsia and the association of dyspepsia-related factors, Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and work-related stress with functional dyspepsia in white collar employees in 1996 and 2015.

Materials and methods

Repeat cross-sectional study conducted in 1996 (n = 190, response rate = 76.1) and 2015 (n = 195, response rate = 40.2) within a health insurance company in South-West Germany. Dyspeptic symptoms measured according to the Rome III criteria, effort-reward imbalance and further work- or dyspepsia-related factors were assessed by self-administered questionnaire. H. pylori infection as possible factor for dyspeptic symptoms was measured by a 13C-urea breath test or an antigen stool test. Kruskal-Wallis tests and multivariable logistic regression models were calculated comparing the upper tertile of dyspeptic symptom scale to the middle and lower tertile.


Mean dyspepsia symptom scores and work-related stress did not differ comparing 1996 and 2015. In bivariate analyses, dyspeptic symptom scores were consistently correlated with sex, age, and using antacids. Further dyspepsia-related factors were smoking and non-leading occupational position in 1996 and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as well as high effort-reward imbalance in 2015. High intrinsic effort was positively associated with high dyspepsia symptom scores in both studies. Following multivariable adjustment, we observed a consistent association between high intrinsic effort at work and dyspeptic symptoms, although the association was only marginally statistically significant in 1996. Furthermore, a strong association of somatization, only measured in 2015, with dyspeptic symptoms was shown.


Dyspepsia-related factors may have changed throughout the last decades. Nevertheless, although occupational situations might differ, the intrinsic effort is still strongly associated with dyspeptic symptoms.

Authors:   Stefanie Braig; Simon Berger; David Rothenbacher; Stefanie Schmid; Thomas Seufferlein; Hermann Brenner; Dietrich Rothenbacher; Harald Gündel
Journal:   PLoS ONE
Volume:   13
edition:   6
Year:   2018
Pages:   e0199533
DOI:   10.1371/journal.pone.0199533
Publication date:   22-Jun-2018
Facts, background information, dossiers
  • dyspepsia
  • stress
  • Helicobacter pylori
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