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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2005 Apr 1;21(7):821-7.

Risk factors for gastro-oesophageal reflux disease symptoms: a community study.

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1
Department of Gastroenterology, Sandwell General Hospital, West Bromwich B71 4HJ, UK.

Abstract

AIM:

To examine the prevalence of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease symptoms and potential risk factors among community subjects.

METHODS:

A questionnaire was sent to 4000 subjects, stratified by age, gender and ethnicity to be representative of the local population. Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease symptoms were defined as at least weekly heartburn or acid regurgitation.

RESULTS:

2231 responded (59%), 691 refused to participate and seven were incomplete. 1533 (41%) were evaluable (637 male, mean age 51 years, range: 20-80). The prevalence of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease symptoms was 21%. Smoking, excess alcohol, irritable bowel syndrome, increasing body mass index, a family history of upper gastrointestinal disease, increasing Townsend deprivation index, anticholinergic drugs (all P < 0.0001), weight gain, antidepressant drugs, inhaled bronchodilators, no educational attainment (all P < 0.01), south Asian origin (P = 0.02) and manual work (P < 0.05) were associated with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease symptoms. Multivariate logistic regression revealed increasing body mass index, a family history of upper gastrointestinal disease, irritable bowel syndrome, south Asian origin (all P < 0.0001), smoking, excess alcohol, no educational attainment and anticholinergic drugs (all P < 0.01) were independently associated with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS:

Frequent gastro-oesophageal reflux disease symptoms affect 21% of the population. Increasing body mass index, a family history of upper gastrointestinal disease, irritable bowel syndrome, south Asian origin, smoking, excess alcohol, social deprivation and anticholinergic drugs are independently associated with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease symptoms.

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