Dyspepsia in Homeless Adults

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To determine the prevalence of and risk factors for dyspepsia in a representative sample of homeless persons using shelters in Toronto, Canada.


Homeless people have many risk factors for dyspepsia, but little information is available on gastrointestinal symptoms in this population.


Cross-sectional survey of a representative sample of 100 homeless adults, with serologic testing for Helicobacter pylori infection.


The prevalence of moderate, severe, or very severe symptoms within the past 3 months was 18% for upper stomach pain and 59% for any dyspeptic symptom. Nonwhite ethnicity (odds ratio, 3.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.1–10.9) and a history of gastrointestinal disease (odds ratio, 8.6; 95% confidence interval, 2.5–29.6) were significantly associated with moderate to very severe upper stomach pain. H. pylori infection was identified in 31% of participants but was not significantly associated with dyspepsia.


Dyspepsia is a common problem among homeless adults in Toronto. The presence of upper stomach pain is most strongly associated with a history of gastrointestinal disease.

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