A prospective analysis of gastroenterology out-patient consultations at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria
Introduction: The pattern and relative occurrence of gastrointestinal and liver disorders in Nigeria is unclear. The aim of this study was to assess the pattern of gastroenterology referral and consultations as seen in the outpatient department of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria.
Methods: This was a prospective observational study in which all the new referrals to the ambulatory outpatient gastroenterology clinic over a 24 -month period (June 2011 to May 2013) were evaluated. Demographic factors and clinical diagnosis were prospectively collected during clinical evaluation. Data was recorded and analyzed using Epi-info™ version 3.5.4
Results: One thousand, six hundred and sixty three (1663) new patients referred to the gastroenterology clinic were evaluated. There were 900 males (54.1%) and 765 females (45.9%). Dyspepsia (31.6%), chronic HBV carriers (28.7%) chronic liver diseases (16.1%), and liver cancer (6.1%) were the most frequent reasons for outpatient consultations. The risk of liver disease occurring in males was 1.84 fold, 1.7 and 4.7 fold for chronic liver disease, liver cancer and liver abscess respectively.
Conclusion: Dyspepsia, chronic liver disease and hepatitis B virus infection are the commonest causes of gastroenterology consultation and may reflect the high burden of disease in this population. The common association of these conditions with infectious agents suggests that prevention is important for disease control.
Keywords: dyspepsia, liver disease, hepatitis, ambulatory care, abdominal ultrasound scan.