Background/Aims: In South Korea, health check-ups are readily accessible to the public. We aimed to compare the prevalence of upper gastrointestinal (GI) and lower GI diseases in Korean Americans and native Koreans to determine differences and risk factors. Methods: In total, 1,942 subjects who visited Gangnam Severance Hospital from July 2008 to November 2010 for a health check-up were enrolled. Basic characteristics and laboratory data for the subjects were collected. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy and colonoscopy were performed. In total, 940 Korean Americans (group 1) and 1,002 native Koreans (group 2) were enrolled. Results: The overall prevalence of GI diseases for each group (group 1 vs group 2) were as follows: reflux esophagitis (RE) (9.65% vs 7.9%), gastric ulcer (2.8% vs 3.4%), duodenal ulcer (2.3% vs 3.6%), gastric cancer (0.4% vs 0.3%), colorectal polyp (35.9% vs 35.6%), colorectal cancer (0.5% vs 0.5%), and hemorrhoids (29.4% vs 21.3%). The prevalence of hemorrhoids was significantly higher in group 1 than in group 2 (p=0.001). In the multivariable analysis of group 1, male sex, age over 50 years, hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia predicted colorectal polyps. Male sex and high fasting glucose levels were associated with RE. Conclusions: Our study showed that the prevalence of GI diseases (except hemorrhoids) in Korean Americans was similar to that observed in native Koreans. Therefore, the Korean guidelines for upper and lower screening endoscopy may be applicable to Korean Americans. (Gut Liver 2013;7:539-545).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes