Korean J Gastroenterol.  2020 Dec;76(6):304-313. 10.4166/kjg.2020.110.

Effects of the Rome IV Criteria to Functional Dyspepsia Symptoms in Saudi Arabia: Epidemiology and Clinical Practice

  • 1Endoscopy Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz University Hospital, College of Medicine, Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia
  • 2Al Kharj, Saudi Arabia; Endoscopy Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, Limassol General Hospital, St George's Medical School, University of Nicosia, Saudi Arabia
  • 3Nicosia, Republic of Cyprus; Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, Prince Sattam bin Abulaziz University, Saudi Arabia
  • 4Al Kharj, Saudi Arabia; Endoscopy Unit, Prince Sultan Military Medical City, Saudi Arabia
  • 5Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Endoscopy Unit, King Khaled Hospital and Prince Sultan Center for Health Care, Saudi Arabia
  • 6Al Kharj, Saudi Arabia; Department of Family Medicine, AlKharj Military Hospital, Saudi Arabia
  • 7Al Kharj, Saudi Arabia; Department of Internal Medicine, Security Forces Hospital,Saudi Arabia
  • 8Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Ibn Sina National College for Medical Studies, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • 9Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Almaarefa Medical College, Saudi Arabia
  • 10Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; College of Computer and Information Sciences, Al-Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


Limited data is available in Saudi Arabia (SA) regarding the prevalence of functional dyspepsia (FD) symptoms and its subtypes, as defined by the ROME IV criteria. This study evaluated the burden of self-reported FD symptoms in the adult general population of SA and the current clinical practices.
A web-based national cross-sectional health survey of the general population of SA was conducted using the Rome IV Diagnostic Questionnaire for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders in Adults with additional questions on the presence of symptoms compatible with functional heartburn (FH) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The quality of life and somatization questionnaires were also included.
Overall, 3,114 adults completed the questionnaire, but 303 (9.7%) were excluded due to inconsistent responses. Of the 2,811 consistent responders, 532 (18.3%) fulfilled the Rome IV criteria for FD symptoms. These were distributed into the FD subtypes as follows: 208 (7.4%) had postprandial distress syndrome, 228 (8.1%) had epigastric pain syndrome, and 96 (3.4%) had the overlapping variant. IBS-like symptoms were reported in 232 (44%) and FH in 102 (19%) 19% (102) of the subjects with functional dyspepsia. H. pylori-associated dyspepsia was reported by 25% (87/348). High somatization, lower quality of life scores, younger age, and female sex were associated more with the FD symptoms participants than those without. Approximately 1/5 respondents used over-the-counter medications to relieve the FD symptoms.
In this population-based survey, FD affected almost 1/5 of the responding adult population in SA, which was less than previously reported.


Dyspepsia; Diagnosis; Prevalence; Irritable bowel syndrome; Heartburn


  • Fig. 1 Prevalence of functional dyspepsia subtypes based on Rome IV diagnostic criteria between the regions of Saudi Arabia. The p values are between the geographic regions across the country. PDS, postprandial distress syndrome; EPS, epigastric pain syndrome.

  • Fig. 2 Distribution of FD subtypes in participant dyspeptic patients according to Rome IV diagnostic criteria between regions across the country. FD, functional dyspepsia; PDS, postprandial distress syndrome; EPS, epigastric pain syndrome.

  • Fig. 3 Prevalence of functional dyspepsia symptoms based on Rome IV diagnostic criteria according to age and gender.

Cited by  1 articles

Epidemiologic Properties of Functional Dyspepsia in Saudi Arabia
Hyun Jin Kim
Korean J Gastroenterol. 2020;76(6):273-274.    doi: 10.4166/kjg.2020.159.


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