148174 - check, unit 556, Digestive, December 2018
- : Online
This edition of check focuses on the assessment and management of digestive issues in general practice.Relevance to General Practice
The Gut Foundation estimates that half of the Australian population experiences some type of digestive issue in any 12-month period. In 2013–14, gastrointestinal disorders in Australia amounted to approximately $3.5 million in admitted patient care. Irritable bowel syndrome affects approximately 10% of the Australian population at any point in time, and 40% of people at some stage in their lives. Diverticular disease affects approximately 65% of people aged >70 years. Gallstones, which are present in 25–30% of the Australian population aged >50 years, are asymptomatic in up to 80% of affected patients; however, some cases progress to complications such as cholecystitis. It is estimated that gastro-oesophageal reflux disease affects 7.5% of the population. The use of low-dose aspirin, which has recently become recommended for the prevention of cardiovascular disease, increases the risk of stomach ulcers and bleeding.
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