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J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2005 Jan;20(1):26-9.

Prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease and gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms in Japan.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka, Japan.



Epidemiological studies have shown that 10-48% of people in developed countries have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms such as heartburn and acid regurgitation. The present study aimed to examine the prevalence of GERD symptoms and GERD in Japanese subjects.


A cross-sectional study of Japanese subjects who visited a clinic for a routine health check up was carried out. Subjects were asked to fill out a self-report questionnaire. GERD was defined as the presence of heartburn and/or acid regurgitation at least twice per week.


Of the 6035 eligible subjects, 2662 (44.1%) reported having had heartburn and/or acid regurgitation during the past year: 124 (2.1%) daily, 275 (4.6%) twice per week, 773 (12.8%) twice per month and 1490 (24.7%) less than twice per month. Three hundred and ninety-nine (6.6%) subjects were diagnosed as having GERD and there was no relationship between the prevalence of GERD and either sex or age. The prevalence of bothersome GERD symptoms was significantly higher in subjects with GERD than in those without GERD.


Approximately 6.6% of Japanese have GERD and most persons with GERD described heartburn or acid regurgitation as bothersome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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