The association between adult-type hypolactasia and symptoms of functional dyspepsia

Abstract Functional dyspepsia and lactose intolerance (adult-type hypolactasia, ATH) are common conditions that may coexist or even be confounded. Their clinical presentation can be similar, however, lactose intolerance does not form part of the diagnostic investigation of functional dyspepsia. Studies on the association between functional dyspepsia and ATH are scarce. This study aimed to evaluate whether ATH is associated with symptoms of functional dyspepsia. Patients fulfilling the Rome III diagnostic criteria for functional dyspepsia underwent genetic testing for ATH. Dyspeptic symptoms were evaluated and scored according to a validated questionnaire. The diagnostic criteria for ATH was a CC genotype for the -13910C/T polymorphism, located upstream of the lactase gene. The mean scores for dyspeptic symptoms were compared between patients with ATH and those with lactase persistence. A total of 197 functional dyspeptic patients were included in the study. Mean age was 47.7 years and 82.7% patients were women. Eighty-eight patients (44.7%) had a diagnosis of ATH. Abdominal bloating scores were higher in ATH patients compared to the lactase persistent patients (P=0.014). The remaining dyspeptic symptom scores were not significantly different between the two groups. The study results demonstrate an association between ATH and bloating in patients with functional dyspepsia.