Summary Aim: To examine the prevalence of gastro‐oesophageal reflux disease symptoms and potential risk factors among community subjects. Methods: A questionnaire was sent to 4000 subjects, stratified by age, gender and ethnicity to be representative of the local population. Gastro‐oesophageal reflux disease symptoms were defined as at least weekly heartburn or acid regurgitation. Results: 2231 responded (59%), 691 refused to participate and seven were incomplete. 1533 (41%) were evaluable (637 male, mean age 51 years, range: 20–80). The prevalence of gastro‐oesophageal reflux disease symptoms was 21%. Smoking, excess alcohol, irritable bowel syndrome, increasing body mass index, a family history of upper gastrointestinal disease, increasing Townsend deprivation index, anticholinergic drugs (all P < 0.0001), weight gain, antidepressant drugs, inhaled bronchodilators, no educational attainment (all P < 0.01), south Asian origin (P = 0.02) and manual work (P < 0.05) were associated with gastro‐oesophageal reflux disease symptoms. Multivariate logistic regression revealed increasing body mass index, a family history of upper gastrointestinal disease, irritable bowel syndrome, south Asian origin (all P < 0.0001), smoking, excess alcohol, no educational attainment and anticholinergic drugs (all P < 0.01) were independently associated with gastro‐oesophageal reflux disease symptoms. Conclusions: Frequent gastro‐oesophageal reflux disease symptoms affect 21% of the population. Increasing body mass index, a family history of upper gastrointestinal disease, irritable bowel syndrome, south Asian origin, smoking, excess alcohol, social deprivation and anticholinergic drugs are independently associated with gastro‐oesophageal reflux disease symptoms.
Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics – Wiley
Published: Apr 1, 2005
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