Functional dyspepsia is associated with lower exercise levels: a population-based study

Natasha A. Koloski, Michael Jones, Marjorie M. Walker, Gerald Holtmann, Nicholas J. Talley*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Exercise improves symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, but few data are available about functional dyspepsia. We compared the prevalence and frequency of different types of exercise between individuals with functional dyspepsia and general population controls. Methods: A mailed survey was returned by 3160 people randomly obtained from the Australian electoral register. The survey included questions to identify the Rome III diagnosis for functional dyspepsia. Exercise was classified by the presence (yes or no) and the frequency (number of times) spent walking, and engaging in moderate and vigorous exercise, over the last 2 weeks based on the National Health Survey. Controls did not meet criteria for functional dyspepsia. Potential confounders included the presence of irritable bowel syndrome, smoking, body mass index, age and gender. Results: A total of 14.8% (95% confidence interval (CI) 13.6%, 16.1%) subjects had functional dyspepsia. They reported significantly less walking (57% versus 63%, P = 0.04) and lower frequency of exercising, in terms of walking (P = 0.008) and engaging in moderate (P = 0.03) and vigorous activity (P = 0.02), compared with controls. The association remained significant for moderate exercise, independent of age, gender, body mass index and smoking, and excluding overlap with irritable bowel syndrome (odds ratio (OR) = 0.94 (95% CI 0.88, 0.99), P = 0.02). Postprandial distress syndrome was associated with less-vigorous exercise adjusting for confounders (OR = 0.65 (95% CI 0.42, 1.0), P = 0.05), but not epigastric pain syndrome. Conclusion: Functional dyspepsia is associated with lower exercise levels, but the causality still needs to be determined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-583
Number of pages7
JournalUnited European Gastroenterology Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020


  • Epidemiology
  • functional dyspepsia
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • lifestyle
  • physical activity


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