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Digestion. 2009;79(3):196-201. doi: 10.1159/000211715. Epub 2009 Apr 3.

Prevalence and risk factors for overlaps between gastroesophageal reflux disease, dyspepsia, and irritable bowel syndrome: a population-based study.

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Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, South Korea.



People may have symptoms of multiple disorders at the same time. We aimed to determine prevalence and risk factors for overlaps between gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in a Korean population.


A cross-sectional survey was performed on 1,688 randomly selected Korean subjects. Data on 1,443 subjects could be analyzed. Dyspepsia and IBS were diagnosed using modified Rome II criteria.


The prevalences of GERD, dyspepsia and IBS were 8.5, 9.5 and 9.6%. Overlaps between GERD and dyspepsia, GERD and IBS, and dyspepsia and IBS were observed in 2.3 (95% CI 1.4-3.0), 2.0 (95% CI 1.2-2.6%) and 1.3% (95% CI 0.6-1.8%) of the population. 27 and 24% of GERD subjects suffered from dyspepsia and IBS. 24 and 14% of dyspeptic subjects had GERD and IBS. 21 and 14% of IBS subjects had GERD and dyspepsia. Anxiety was significantly associated with GERD overlap (OR 2.73, 95% CI 1.13-6.57), dyspepsia overlap (OR 3.19, 95% CI 1.33-7.63) and IBS overlap (OR 4.92, 95% CI 2.04-11.84), compared with GERD alone, dyspepsia alone and IBS alone.


Overlaps between GERD, dyspepsia, and IBS are common in the general population. These overlaps occur predominantly in individuals with anxiety.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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