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Scand J Gastroenterol. 2010;45(2):139-46. doi: 10.3109/00365520903428606.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease in children and adolescents in primary care.

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Spanish Centre for Pharmacoepidemiological Research (CEIFE), Madrid, Spain.



To determine the prevalence and incidence of a diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in children and adolescents in UK primary care, and to assess comorbidities that are associated with a diagnosis of GERD.


Incident GERD cases during 2000-05 were identified from The Health Improvement Network (THIN) UK primary care database via a computer search for diagnostic codes for GERD, followed by manual review of the patient records.


We identified 1700 children with a first diagnosis of GERD during 2000-05. The incidence of GERD was 0.84 per 1000 person-years. The incidence decreased with age from 1.48 per 1000 person-years among 1-year-old children until the age of 12 years, whereupon it increased to a maximum at 16-17 years of 2.26 per 1000 person-years for girls and 1.75 per 1000 person-years for boys. Pregnant adolescents were not included in the study. In addition to typical GERD symptoms (epigastric pain, heartburn, reflux, regurgitation), 21.2% of children reported nausea or vomiting. Children with neurological disorders were at increased risk of a GERD diagnosis. Hiatus hernia and congenital esophageal disorders were also associated with a diagnosis of GERD. Children and adolescents using antiepileptics, oral/inhaled steroids, beta-agonists and paracetamol had an increased risk of a GERD diagnosis.


The incidence of a GERD diagnosis was age-dependent and was highest among very young children and older female adolescents. Children with neurological impairments and other comorbidities were at increased risk of a GERD diagnosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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