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MEDICC Review

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Abstract

GALBAN, Enrique; ARUS, Enrique  and  PERILES, Ulises. Endoscopic findings and associated risk factors in primary health care settings in Havana, Cuba. MEDICC rev. [online]. 2012, vol.14, n.1, pp. 30-37. ISSN 1555-7960.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1555-79602012000100006.

INTRODUCTION Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, traditionally performed in Cuba in specialized hospitals, was decentralized to the primary health care level in 2004 to make it more patient-accessible. OBJECTIVES Describe frequency and distribution of the principal symptomatic diseases of the upper gastrointestinal tract and their relation to the main risk factors associated with each in a sample of urban adults who underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy in primary care facilities in Havana in selected months of 2007. METHODS A multicenter cross-sectional study was conducted, including 3556 patients seen in the primary health care network of Havana from May through November 2007. The endoscopies were performed at the 22 polyclinics (community health centers) providing this service. Diagnostic quality and accuracy were assessed by experienced gastroenterologists using a validated tool. Patients responded to a questionnaire with clinical, epidemiologic, and sociodemographic variables. Univariate and multivariate analyses (unconditional logistical regression) were used to identify associated risk factors. The significance level was set at p < 0.05 (or confidence interval excluding 1.0). RESULTS The diagnoses were: gastritis (91.6%), duodenitis (57.8%), hiatal hernia (46.5%), esophagitis (25.2%), duodenal ulcer (15.8%), gastric ulcer (6.2%) and malignant-appearing lesions (0.4%). Overall prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection was 58.4%. The main risk factors for duodenal ulcer were H. pylori infection (OR 2.70, CI 2.17-3.36) and smoking (OR 2.08, CI 1.68-2.58); and for gastric ulcer, H. pylori (OR 1.58, CI 1.17-2.15) and age >60 years (OR 1.78, CI 1.28-2.47). H. pylori infection was the main risk factor for gastritis (OR 2.29, CI 1.79-2.95) and duodenitis (OR 1.58, CI 1.38-1.82); and age >40 years for hiatal hernia (OR 1.57, CI 1.33-1.84). External evaluation was "very good" or "good" for 99.3% of endoscopic procedures and 97.9% of reports issued. CONCLUSIONS Gastrointestinal endoscopy performed in primary care yielded high quality results and important information about prevalence of the most common diseases of the upper GI tract and associated risk factors. This study provides a reference for new research and can inform objective recommendations for community-based interventions to prevent and control these diseases. The existence of a network of universally accessible diagnostic endoscopy services at the primary care level, will contribute to conducting further research.

Keywords : Endoscopy; gastrointestinal diseases; upper GI tract; prevalence; risk factors; primary care; Cuba.

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