Korean J Med.  2000 Feb;58(2):145-151.

Prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux in routine check-up subjects

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, CHA Hospital, Pochun CHA University, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is considered to be less common in the Orient compared to the West, but epidemiological data on GERD in Korea are rare. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux in routine check-up subjects.
METHODS
We analyzed 2243 subjects (male 716, female 1527; age range 20-69 yr) visited health promotion center for routine check-up. Subjects were given a validated self-reported questionnaire, which measured the presence, duration and severity of typical symptoms (heartburn, acid regurgitation); and the presence of atypical symptoms. At least weekly symptoms of heartburn and/or acid regurgitation were characterized as the definition of GERD.
RESULTS
The prevalence of heartburn for at least monthly, at least weekly and at least daily episodes was 6.2%, 3.4% and 3.1%, respectively. The corresponding figures for acid regurgitation were 6.1%, 2.1% and 0.7%. The prevalence of GERD was 8.5%, and was more common in female (p< 0.01). Sixty eight percent of subjects with GERD reported the symptoms as having been present for less than 5 years. Seventy four percent of subjects with GERD reported these symptoms to be mild to moderate in severity. Heartburn and acid regurgitation were significantly associated with dyspepsia, chest pain, dysphagia and globus sensation (p< 0.01), but not with hoarseness or chronic cough.
CONCLUSION
The prevalence of heartburn and/or acid regurgitation experienced at least weekly is 8.5% in routine check-up subjects. Heartburn and acid regurgitation were associated with epigastric pain, chest pain, dysphagia and globus sensation.

Keyword

Epidemiology; Gastroesophageal reflux disease; Heartburn
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