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World J Gastroenterol. 2007 Nov 7;13(41):5486-91.

Risk factors of gastroesophageal reflux disease in Shiraz, southern Iran.

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Gastroenterohepatology Research Center, Nemazee Hospital, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Karim-Khan Zand Blv, Shiraz, Iran.



To determine the prevalence and symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in a healthy general population in relation to demographic, lifestyle and health-seeking behaviors in Shiraz, southern Iran.


A total of 1978 subjects aged > 35 years who referred to Gastroenterohepatology Research Center and who completed a questionnaire consisting of 27 questions for GERD in relation to demographic, lifestyle and health-seeking behaviors were included in this study for a period of five months. The validity and reliability of the questionnaire were determined.


The prevalence of GERD was 15.4%, which was higher in females (17.3%), in rural areas (19.8%), and in illiterate subjects (21.5%) and those with a mean age of 50.25 years. The prevalence was significantly lower in subjects having fried food (14.8%), and fruit and vegetables (14.6%). More symptoms were noticed in subjects consuming pickles (22.1%), taking aspirin (21%) and in subjects with psychological distresses (27.2%) and headaches (22%). The correlation was statistically significant between GERD and halitosis (18.3%), dyspepsia (30.6%), anxiety (19.5%), nightmares (23.9%) and restlessness (18.5%). Their health seeking behavior showed that there was a significant restriction of diet (20%), consumption of herbal medicine (19%), using over-the-counter drugs (29.9%) and consulting with physicians (24.8%). Presence of GERD symptoms was also significantly related to a previous family history of the disease (22.3%).


GERD is more common in females, rural and illiterate subjects and correlated with consumption of pickles, occurrence of headache, psychological distress, dyspepsia, halitosis, anxiety, nightmare and restlessness, and a family history of GERD and aspirin intake, but the correlation was negative with consumption of fat and fiber intake.

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