Time trends of upper gastrointestinal diseases in Nigeria

Authors Sylvester Chuks Nwokediuko, Uchenna Ijoma, Olive Obienu, Neri Picardo.


Background The changing epidemiology of a disease often provides valuable insight into possible etiopathogenic mechanisms. There have been significant changes over the last several decades in disease manifestations of the foregut in Western Europe, North America and Asia. This time trend analysis was carried out to determine if any changes have occurred in the prevalence of diseases of the upper gastrointestinal tract in Nigeria.

Method Records of patients who underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy during two time periods (1995 to 1999 and 2006 to 2010) in Enugu, South-East Nigeria were analyzed with regard to biodata of patients, indications for upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and endoscopic findings.

Results During the two time periods, 1,365 patients had upper gastrointestinal endoscopy (575 patients in the period 1995-1999 and 790 in the period 2006-2010). Dyspepsia was the commonest indication for upper gastrointestinal endoscopy for both periods (81.9% and 72.9%, respectively; p= 0.9052). Heartburn and dysphagia were more frequent during the second time period (p<0.0001). Duodenal ulcer was more common in the first time period (p<0.0001), while esophagitis, gastric ulcer and bile reflux were significantly more common in the second period (p<0.0001, p=0.0007 and p=0.0019, respectively).

Conclusion Over the 15-year period, the prevalence of duodenal ulcer has declined while that of gastric ulcer has increased. There has also been an increase in the prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Putative explanations for this trend may include widespread availability and use of very potent acid suppressant drugs, increasing use of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, change towards western diet and increasing obesity.

Keywords Trends, gastrointestinal diseases, GERD, Nigeria

Ann Gastroenterol 2012; 25 (1): 52-56

Original Articles