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Scand J Gastroenterol. 2005 Jun;40(6):629-35.

Occurrence and future history of oesophageal symptoms in an urban Swedish population: results of a questionnaire-based, ten-year follow-up study.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden.



To evaluate the occurrence and changes over time of upper gastrointestinal symptoms in adult subjects randomly recruited from the general population.


A questionnaire recording of upper gastrointestinal symptoms with a 10-year follow-up was carried out in a random sample of the adult population of Göteborg. The original sample, from 1986, comprised 441 subjects within the age span of 20-79 years. In total, 337 subjects participated in the index assessment, of which 197 (95 F) subsequently answered the second questionnaire 10 years later.


A majority of the responders (159/197, 83%) reported no change in their global assessment of symptoms. Neither the point prevalence nor the severity for any symptom changed significantly over time. The prevalence of heartburn and acid regurgitation was 25 and 22%, respectively, and the corresponding yearly incidence was estimated to be 1.8 and 1.2%. The main predictor for the occurrence of symptoms of moderate to severe degree at follow-up was the presence of the same symptom 10 years previously. Age or gender per se did not significantly influence the occurrence of symptoms. Changes in body mass index and anti-reflux medication co-varied with the severity of the symptoms heartburn and acid regurgitation.


Oesophageal symptoms are common in the adult Swedish population and seem to be fairly stable over time.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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