A study of disease pattern in a tertiary level Gastroenterology and Hepatology Out-Patient Unit
Background: Diseases affecting the gastrointestinal tract and its accessory organs like the liver, gall bladder and the pancreas have become a global concern as they are characterized by morbidities with high burden to both the individual and the economy.
Objective: To describe the pattern of various gastrointestinal and hepatic diseases at a tertiary institution.
Methods: A retrospective study of consecutive new referrals for ambulatory clinic visits to a Gastroenterology and Hepatology Clinic between May 2014 and May 2016 was conducted.
Results: There were 259 new cases comprising 148 (57.1%) males and 111 (42.9%) females, aged 16-89 years with a mean age of 42.0 ±15.5 years. The commonest reasons for referral included asymptomatic chronic Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) infection (35.9%), chronic liver disease (CLD) (12.4%), hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) (11.6%) and dyspepsia (10%). Asymptomatic HBV infection, CLD and HCC were more frequent among the males, whereas dyspeptic complains were more prevalent among the females (p = 0.008).
Conclusion: Asymptomatic chronic hepatitis B virus infection, which is the leading cause of chronic liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma, was the most common reason for ambulatory gastroenterology and hepatology consultation in this study. Therefore, more effective measures for the eradication of the hepatitis B virus are desired.
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