Peptic ulcer disease and socioeconomic status

Mirela Bašić Denjagić, Nada Čalić- Pavlović, Mirna Alečković- Halilović


The most common reason for peptic ulcer disease is infection with Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori) and the use of drugs such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) and aspirin (ASA). Low socioeconomic status (SES) could affect development of ulcer disease. The aim of this work is to determine whether low SES is one of the risk factors for ulcer disease, and to determine whether H.pylori infection, usage of NSAID and ASA is more frequent among patients with low SES. Material and methods: This is a prospective study on 273 consecutive patients which were divided in three groups: first with duodenal ulcer (DU) - 108 patients, second with gastric ulcer (GU) - 104 patients and control group with 61 patients with dyspeptic symptoms without ulcers. All patients had their H.pylori status determined. Through interview other socioepidemiological data and medication history were obtained. Results: Patients with low financial status more often had both types of ulcers (p<0,001). High school was not finished by 140 patients and 46% of them have no qualifications. Only 8% of them have university diploma and 8,9 % is illiterate. Gastric ulcer is more often seen in patients without any school degree, among women and among divorcees and widowers (p<0,001). There were no difference in H. pylori infection and usage of NSAID among population with low and higher SES. ASA is more often used among patients who did not finish high school. Conclusion: Low SES is a risk factor for peptic ulcer disease independent of H,. pylori infection and NSAID.

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DOI: 10.5457/ams.v45i1-2.411