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Am J Gastroenterol. 1997 Apr;92(4):668-71.

The incidence of reflux esophagitis among the Chinese.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan, Republic of China.



Very few epidemiological data on reflux esophagitis in Chinese are available in the literature.


To evaluate the incidence of reflux esophagitis, upper gastrointestinal endoscopies were performed on 2044 patients (male 1266, female 778; age range 16-82 yr) during a 6-month period.


The overall incidence of reflux esophagitis was 5%, and most of the patients (86.3%) had a mild grade of esophagitis. Hiatal hernia was found in 44 patients (2.2%); those patients were significantly older than those without hiatal hernia (60.3 +/- 10.8 vs. 49.4 +/- 12.1 yr, p < 0.05). Patients with symptoms suggesting gastroesophageal reflux (acid regurgitation, heartburn, and belching) had higher incidence of esophagitis (22.9%, 22.5%, and 24.7%, respectively). The body mass index was significantly higher in patients with esophagitis than in those without esophagitis (25.7 +/- 3.1 vs. 24.0 +/- 3.6, p < 0.05). The male:female ratio for esophagitis was 5.6:1. No esophagitis was found in patients who were less than 21 yr old. However, there was a difference in age group distribution for the incidence of esophagitis. The habit of coffee or tea drinking does not contribute to the development of esophagitis.


Based on the results of this study, the incidence of endoscopic reflux esophagitis among the Chinese is 5%, which is lower than in Western countries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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