Ethnic variations in upper gastrointestinal hospitalizations and deaths: the Scottish Health and Ethnicity Linkage Study

Genevieve I Cezard, Raj S Bhopal, Hester J T Ward, Narinder Bansal, Neeraj Bhala, SHELS Researchers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Upper gastrointestinal (GI) diseases are common, but there is a paucity of data describing variations by ethnic group and so a lack of understanding of potential health inequalities. We studied the incidence of specific upper GI hospitalization and death by ethnicity in Scotland.

METHODS: Using the Scottish Health and Ethnicity Linkage Study, linking NHS hospitalizations and mortality to the Scottish Census 2001, we explored ethnic differences in incidence (2001-10) of oesophagitis, peptic ulcer disease, gallstone disease and pancreatitis. Relative Risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals were calculated using Poisson regression, multiplied by 100, stratified by sex and adjusted for age, country of birth (COB) and socio-economic position. The White Scottish population (100) was the reference population.

RESULTS: Ethnic variations varied by outcome and sex, e.g. adjusted RRs (95% confidence intervals) for oesophagitis were comparatively higher in Bangladeshi women (209; 124-352) and lower in Chinese men (65; 51-84) and women (69; 55-88). For peptic ulcer disease, RRs were higher in Chinese men (171; 131-223). Pakistani women had higher RRs for gallstone disease (129; 112-148) and pancreatitis (147; 109-199). The risks of upper GI diseases were lower in Other White British and Other White [e.g. for peptic ulcer disease in men, respectively (74; 64-85) and (81; 69-94)].

CONCLUSION: Risks of common upper GI diseases were comparatively lower in most White ethnic groups in Scotland. In non-White groups, however, risk varied by disease and ethnic group. These results require consideration in health policy, service planning and future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-60
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
Early online date9 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016


  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Scotland
  • Sex Factors
  • State Medicine
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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