Ethnic variations in upper gastrointestinal hospitalizations and deaths: the Scottish Health and Ethnicity Linkage Study

Genevieve I Cezard, Raj S Bhopal, Hester J T Ward, Narinder Bansal, Neeraj Bhala, SHELS researchers

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    6 Citations (Scopus)


    BACKGROUND: Upper gastrointestinal (GI) diseases are common, but there is a paucity of data describing variations by ethnic group and so a lack of understanding of potential health inequalities. We studied the incidence of specific upper GI hospitalization and death by ethnicity in Scotland.

    METHODS: Using the Scottish Health and Ethnicity Linkage Study, linking NHS hospitalizations and mortality to the Scottish Census 2001, we explored ethnic differences in incidence (2001-10) of oesophagitis, peptic ulcer disease, gallstone disease and pancreatitis. Relative Risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals were calculated using Poisson regression, multiplied by 100, stratified by sex and adjusted for age, country of birth (COB) and socio-economic position. The White Scottish population (100) was the reference population.

    RESULTS: Ethnic variations varied by outcome and sex, e.g. adjusted RRs (95% confidence intervals) for oesophagitis were comparatively higher in Bangladeshi women (209; 124-352) and lower in Chinese men (65; 51-84) and women (69; 55-88). For peptic ulcer disease, RRs were higher in Chinese men (171; 131-223). Pakistani women had higher RRs for gallstone disease (129; 112-148) and pancreatitis (147; 109-199). The risks of upper GI diseases were lower in Other White British and Other White [e.g. for peptic ulcer disease in men, respectively (74; 64-85) and (81; 69-94)].

    CONCLUSION: Risks of common upper GI diseases were comparatively lower in most White ethnic groups in Scotland. In non-White groups, however, risk varied by disease and ethnic group. These results require consideration in health policy, service planning and future research.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2015


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