Human Genetics

, Volume 64, Issue 4, pp 398–401 | Cite as

Prevalence of primary adult lactose malabsorption in Hungary

  • A. Czeizel
  • G. Flatz
  • Sibylle D. Flatz
Original Investigations


Lactose absorption capacity was estimated in 820 apparently healthy, well nourished, Hungarian adults and adolescents (560 females, 260 males, aged 16–54 years) using a field version of the lactose tolerance test with breath hydrogen determination. The test identified 497 lactose absorbers with low, and 323 lactose malabsorbers with high hydrogen excretion 120–150 min after an oral load of 50 g lactose. The prevalence of lactose malabsorption in the general Hungarian sample (n=535) was 37%. In subgroups from the western and eastern Hungarian plains, frequency of lactose malabsorption reached almost 30%. It tended to be higher in Upper Hungary (ca. 40%) and in subjects stemming from former Hungarian areas in the Carpathian bend. Lactose malabsorption in a Hungarian ethnic subgroup, the Matyo (n=172), did not differ significantly from that in the general population. Among Romai (“Gypsies”, n=113), the prevalence of lactose malabsorption was significantly higher (56%). Awareness of milk intolerance was significantly more frequent, and severe symptoms of lactose intolerance during the test occurred almost exclusively in lactose malabsorbers.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Czeizel
    • 1
  • G. Flatz
    • 2
  • Sibylle D. Flatz
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Human GeneticsNational Institute of HygieneBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Department of Human GeneticsMedizinische Hochschule HannoverHannover 61Germany

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