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Soz Praventivmed. 2004;49(1):51-61.

Epidemiology and costs of gastroesophageal reflux disease in Switzerland: a population-based study.

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Assessment of the prevalence, health care resource use and cost of gastroesophageal reflux disease in Switzerland.


A population-based telephone survey was conducted in German and French speaking Switzerland. Reflux cases were defined using a questionnaire proposed by the German Gastro League and answered additional questions on their personal characteristics and resource use.


1,274 out of 7,222 participants were positively screened. The prevalence of reflux disease in Swiss adults was estimated at 17.6% (95% CI: 15.6%-19.7%) or 993,000 individuals. Regular treatment with medication was reported by 38.0% of the reflux positive sample. Reflux-induced general practitioner consultations during the last year were reported by 25.9%. On average, there were 0.84 general practitioner consultations, 0.19 specialist consultations, 0.08 gastroscopies and 0.01 hospitalisations annually. Mean direct medical costs, dominated by medication costs, were CHF 185 per patient-year (95% CI: CHF 140-230) or 0.5% of Switzerland's total health care expenditures. Total costs were CHF 234 (95% CI: CHF 185-284) per patient-year.


The prevalence of reflux disease in Switzerland is similar to that in other industrialised countries. Reflux disease causes considerable costs, in the medical system and at the societal level.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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