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# Global prevalence of, and risk factors for, gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms: a meta-analysis

Gut

BMJ

ScienceOpenPublisherPubMed
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### Abstract

##### Objectives

Gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms are common in the community, but there has been no definitive systematic review and meta-analysis of data from all studies to estimate their global prevalence, or potential risk factors for them.

##### Design

Medline, Embase and Embase Classic were searched (until September 2016) to identify population-based studies that reported the prevalence of gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms in adults (≥15 years); gastro-oesophageal reflux was defined using symptom-based criteria or questionnaires. The prevalence was extracted for all studies, and according to the criteria used to define it. Pooled prevalence, according to study location and certain other characteristics, OR and 95% CIs were calculated.

##### Results

Of the 14 132 citations evaluated, 102 reported the prevalence of gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms in 108 separate study populations, containing 460 984 subjects. Prevalence varied according to country (from 2.5% in China to 51.2% in Greece) and criteria used to define gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms. When only studies using a weekly frequency of heart burn or regurgitation to define presence were considered, pooled prevalence was 13.3% (95% CI 12.0% to 14.6%). Prevalence was higher in subjects ≥50 years (OR 1.32; 95% CI 1.12 to 1.54), smokers (OR 1.26; 95% CI 1.04 to 1.52), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)/aspirin users (OR 1.44; 95% CI 1.10 to 1.88) and obese individuals (OR 1.73; 95% CI 1.46 to 2.06).

##### Conclusions

The prevalence of gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms varied strikingly among countries, even when similar definitions were used to define their presence. Prevalence was significantly higher in subjects ≥50 years, smokers, NSAID users and obese individuals, although these associations were modest.

### Most cited references102

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• Abstract: found

### Epidemiology of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease: a systematic review.

(2005)
A systematic review of the epidemiology of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) has been performed, applying strict criteria for quality of studies and the disease definition used. The prevalence and incidence of GORD was estimated from 15 studies which defined GORD as at least weekly heartburn and/or acid regurgitation and met criteria concerning sample size, response rate, and recall period. Data on factors associated with GORD were also evaluated. An approximate prevalence of 10-20% was identified for GORD, defined by at least weekly heartburn and/or acid regurgitation in the Western world while in Asia this was lower, at less than 5%. The incidence in the Western world was approximately 5 per 1000 person years. A number of potential risk factors (for example, an immediate family history and obesity) and comorbidities (for example, respiratory diseases and chest pain) associated with GORD were identified. Data reported in this systematic review can be interpreted with confidence as reflecting the epidemiology of "true" GORD. The disease is more common in the Western world than in Asia, and the low rate of incidence relative to prevalence reflects its chronicity. The small number of studies eligible for inclusion in this review highlights the need for global consensus on a symptom based definition of GORD.
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### The burden of selected digestive diseases in the United States.

(2002)
Gastrointestinal (GI) and liver diseases inflict a heavy economic burden. Although the burden is considerable, current and accessible information on the prevalence, morbidity, and cost is sparse. This study was undertaken to estimate the economic burden of GI and liver disease in the United States for use by policy makers, health care providers, and the public. Data were extracted from a number of publicly available and proprietary national databases to determine the prevalence, direct costs, and indirect costs for 17 selected GI and liver diseases. Indirect cost calculations were purposefully very conservative. These costs were compared with National Institutes of Health (NIH) research expenditures for selected GI and liver diseases. The most prevalent diseases were non-food-borne gastroenteritis (135 million cases/year), food-borne illness (76 million), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD; 19 million), and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS; 15 million). The disease with the highest annual direct costs in the United States was GERD ($9.3 billion), followed by gallbladder disease ($5.8 billion), colorectal cancer ($4.8 billion), and peptic ulcer disease ($3.1 billion). The estimated direct costs for these 17 diseases in 1998 dollars were $36.0 billion, with estimated indirect costs of$22.8 billion. The estimated direct costs for all digestive diseases were $85.5 billion. Total NIH research expenditures were$676 million in 2000. GI and liver diseases exact heavy economic and social costs in the United States. Understanding the prevalence and costs of these diseases is important to help set priorities to reduce the burden of illness.
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### Author and article information

###### Contributors
(View ORCID Profile)
###### Journal
Gut
Gut
BMJ
0017-5749
1468-3288
February 08 2018
March 2018
March 2018
February 23 2017
: 67
: 3
: 430-440
###### Article
10.1136/gutjnl-2016-313589
28232473