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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2006 Jun 1;23(11):1601-5.

Prevalence and sociodemographics of reflux symptoms in Germany--results from a national survey.

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Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics, Charité University Medical Center, Berlin, Germany.



Although gastro-oesophageal reflux disease is a common gastrointestinal disorder, the prevalence rates differ depending on the population studied.


To determine the prevalence of reflux symptoms in the German adult population and any associations with age, gender or socio-economic status.


A total of 7124 subjects were interviewed as part of the German National Health Interview and Examination Survey, which is a representative sample of the general adult population. The prevalence of mild, moderate or severe heartburn or regurgitation was calculated. Logistic regression models were developed to determine the relationship between reflux symptoms and sociodemographic factors such as age, gender and socio-economic status.


The overall prevalence of moderate and severe reflux symptoms was 14% and 4%, respectively. The prevalence increased with age and was highest in the age group 60-69 years with 25% of these subjects reporting moderate or severe reflux symptoms. Being male, it increased the risk of mild, but not of moderate or severe symptoms. Lower socio-economic status was associated with moderate or severe symptoms.


Because of their high prevalence, reflux symptoms are of major public health importance.

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