APH 2000, 58, 51-65:

Comorbidity of chronic gastro-intestinal disorders.
A cross-sectional analysis in a large general practice population in the Netherlands.

H.O.M. Huitema, M. van den Akker, F. Buntinx, J.W. Muris, J.F.M. Metsemakers, and J.A. Knottnerus

Keywords: comorbidity, gastro-intestinal, chronic disease

Objectives: Comorbidity is an issue of increasi . ng interest. In addition, chronic gastrointestinal disorders show high prevalences in general practice.

Comorbidity of chronic gastrointestinal disorders was assessed by means of a descriptive, cross-sectional analysis of a large general practice population.

Methods: Data were obtained from the central database of the Registration Network of Family Practices (RNH) in the Netherlands. This database consisted of 62,684 individuals at the time of our analysis and resembled the general Dutch poputation.  

Six groups of chronic gastrointestinal disorders were selected: peptic uicer, non-ulcer dyspepsia, esophageal disease, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and diverticular disease. By means of logistic regression analysis with adjustment for age and sex, comorbidity for each of these six groups was studied by comparing each group with 37 other groups of chronic diseases involving all body systems.

Results: Especially esophageal and diverticular disease showed a high amount of comorbidity. In general, chronic gastrointestinal diseases were especially associated with chronic diseases affecting the locomotor tract, depressive disorders, psychosocial disorders and different types of headaches.