A cross-sectional study of factors related to gastrointestinal drug use in Korean adolescents

Kyung Eun Lee, Se Jung Hwang, Hye Sun Gwak, Byung Koo Lee, Seung Jin Bae, Sandy Rhie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adolescence is critical in the habituation of diverse lifestyles and is a base for future physical well-being. Although gastrointestinal disorders are frequently reported in adolescents, studies related to GI drug use or related factors in Korean adolescents are rare. Thus, this study examined Korean adolescents for the use of GI drugs for abdominal symptoms and analyzed the associated factors. This cross-sectional study was done with a total of 2,416 students who completed a given questionnaire. The health-related questions included GI medication intake, smoking, alcohol, caffeine, regular exercise, self-cognitive health level, GI symptom, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) intake, and sleep problems. In questions about GI medication intake, drugs included digestives and antacids. And the intake of GI drugs more than once during the past 1 month was regarded as taking GI drugs. The sociodemographic questions included age, gender, grade, number of close friends, extracurricular activities, and school performance. The overall prevalence for taking GI drugs, including antacids and digestives, was 17.4 %. When students taking GI drugs were compared with those not taking GI drugs, the former group showed higher rates of girls (P < 0.001) and participants in extracurricular activities (P < 0.05) than the latter group. Factors including alcohol, caffeine, self-cognitive health levels, and GI symptoms showed statistical significance with the rate of GI drug intake. The rate of GI drug intake in NSAID users was 2.7 times higher than that in non-users (P < 0.001). The prevalence rate of every sleep problem was higher in students taking GI medications except snoring, witnessed apnea, and teeth grinding. From the multiple regression, it was found that gender (female), extracurricular activities, alcohol intake, self-cognitive health levels, NSAIDs intake, and nightmares were related factors to GI drug intake. Based on the results, it was conclude that encouragement to build healthy lifestyle habits in adolescents is very important for their academic performances and health status in adulthood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1238-1243
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Pharmacal Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements This work was supported by the Ewha Womans University Research Grant of 2012.


  • Gastrointestinal drug
  • High school students
  • Lifestyle habits
  • NSAIDs


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