Prevalence and Clinical Spectrum of Gastroesophageal Reflux: A Population-Based Study in Asan-si, Korea

Department of Internal Medicine, Catholic University of Korea, Sŏul, Seoul, South Korea
The American Journal of Gastroenterology (Impact Factor: 10.76). 04/2005; 100(4):747-53. DOI: 10.1111/j.1572-0241.2005.41245.x
Source: PubMed


This study estimated the prevalence and clinical spectrum of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in Asan-si, Korea, as the prevalence is believed to be lower than in Western countries.
A cross-sectional survey, using a reliable and valid questionnaire, was performed on randomly selected 2,240 Asan-si residents aged between 18 and 69 yr. All respondents were interviewed at their homes or offices by a team of interviewers.
Of the 1,902 eligible subjects, 1,417 (78.4%: male 762; female 655) were surveyed. The prevalence of heartburn occurring at least once a month, at least once a week, and at least twice a week was 4.71% (95% confidence interval (CI), 3.6-5.8), 2.0% (95% CI, 1.2-2.7), and 1.3% (95% CI, 0.7-1.9), respectively. The corresponding figures for acid regurgitation were 4.4% (95% CI, 3.3-5.5) and 2.0% (95% CI, 1.3-2.8), respectively. The prevalence of GERD, defined as heartburn and/or acid regurgitation experienced at least weekly, was 3.5% (95% CI, 2.6-4.5). No significant difference was detected between sexes. The prevalence of heartburn was associated with increasing age (p < 0.001). Nineteen percent of our population reported at least one of the atypical symptoms, for instance, chest pain, dysphagia, globus sensation, asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, or hoarseness. The frequency of frequent GERD among subjects reporting any of the atypical symptoms was 12.6%, which was higher than that of the subjects without atypical symptoms. Patients with typical reflux symptoms were more common among those with atypical symptoms, compared to those without such symptoms (p < 0.001). Using a logistic regression model after adjusting for age and sex, typical reflux symptoms were associated with chest pain (odds ratio (OR), 9.3; 95% CI, 5.9-14.7), dysphagia (OR, 6.4; 95% CI, 2.8-14.7), globus sensation (OR, 3.9; 95% CI, 1.5-9.7), hoarseness (OR, 4.3; 95% CI, 1.4-13.1), asthma (OR, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.4-4.8), and bronchitis (OR, 1.2; 95% CI, 0.6-2.3).
The prevalence of GERD was 3.5% in this Korean population. Heartburn and acid regurgitation were significantly associated with chest pain, dysphagia, globus sensation, hoarseness, and asthma.

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    • "Consistent with previous studies,5,24-26 in our study, more patients with ENRD, especially those with PR+, had extraesophageal syndrome than did patients with RE. The patients with pH- also showed a high prevalence of extraesophageal syndrome, but this prevalence did not differ from that of other patients with reflux symptoms. "
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    ABSTRACT: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is diagnosed based on symptoms of heartburn and regurgitation but is a heterogeneous condition which can be subclassified according to endoscopy and esophageal reflux monitoring. The aim of this study was to identify differences in demographic characteristics and reflux symptom patterns among patients with various spectrum of GERD. PATIENTS HAVING WEEKLY HEARTBURN OR ACID REGURGITATION WERE CLASSIFIED INTO FOUR PATHOPHYSIOLOGICAL SUBGROUPS ACCORDING TO ENDOSCOPY AND PH MONITORING: reflux esophagitis (RE), endoscopy-negative reflux disease with pathological reflux (PR+), hypersensitive esophagus (HE), and normal acid exposure with negative symptom association (pH-). A total of 195 patients were enrolled. The numbers of patients in the subgroups were: RE, 39.0%; PR+, 20.0%; HE, 10.3%; and pH-, 30.8%. Grossly, reflux symptom patterns and relieving/exacerbating factors did not differ between subgroups. Prevalence of extraesophageal syndrome was higher in patients with PR+ than in other groups. Overlapping functional dyspepsia was common in all groups. The SCL-90-R depression score was higher in PR+ patients than in RE patients (p<0.05). Demographic characteristics and reflux symptom patterns cannot differentiate pH- group from GERD subtypes. Esophageal pH monitoring could be considered for the initial evaluation of GERD in the tertiary referral setting.
    Gut and Liver 03/2014; 8(2):165-9. DOI:10.5009/gnl.2014.8.2.165 · 1.81 Impact Factor
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    • "These two are considered as the most typical GERD symptoms worldwide [1], but it goes without saying that there may be other patients who suffer other atypical symptoms. How to evaluate NERD is a fundamental problem that needs further assessment, especially in view of extraesophageal syndromes such as chronic cough, globus sensation, hoarseness, asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, and so on [22],[24],[51],[52]. We have already tried to evaluate the multiple GERD symptoms in the large-scale study with 19,864 subjects [23], but in the future, more detailed questionnaire for evaluating the GERD symptoms should be performed in the larger-scale global cohort. "
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    ABSTRACT: Despite the high prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), its risk factors are still a subject of controversy. This is probably due to inadequate distinction between reflux esophagitis (RE) and non-erosive reflux disease (NERD), and is also due to inadequate evaluation of adjacent stomach. Our aim is therefore to define background factors of RE and NERD independently, based on the evaluation of Helicobacter pylori infection and gastric atrophy. We analyzed 10,837 healthy Japanese subjects (6,332 men and 4,505 women, aged 20-87 years) who underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. RE was diagnosed as the presence of mucosal break, and NERD was diagnosed as the presence of heartburn and/or acid regurgitation in RE-free subjects. Using GERD-free subjects as control, background factors for RE and NERD were separately analyzed using logistic regression to evaluate standardized coefficients (SC), odds ratio (OR), and p-value. Of the 10,837 study subjects, we diagnosed 733 (6.8%) as RE and 1,722 (15.9%) as NERD. For RE, male gender (SC = 0.557, OR = 1.75), HP non-infection (SC = 0.552, OR = 1.74), higher pepsinogen I/II ratio (SC = 0.496, OR = 1.64), higher BMI (SC = 0.464, OR = 1.60), alcohol drinking (SC = 0.161, OR = 1.17), older age (SC = 0.148, OR = 1.16), and smoking (SC = 0.129, OR = 1.14) are positively correlated factors. For NERD, HP infection (SC = 0.106, OR = 1.11), female gender (SC = 0.099, OR = 1.10), younger age (SC = 0.099, OR = 1.10), higher pepsinogen I/II ratio (SC = 0.099, OR = 1.10), smoking (SC = 0.080, OR = 1.08), higher BMI (SC = 0.078, OR = 1.08), and alcohol drinking (SC = 0.076, OR = 1.08) are positively correlated factors. Prevalence of RE in subjects with chronic HP infection and successful HP eradication denotes significant difference (2.3% and 8.8%; p<0.0001), whereas that of NERD shows no difference (18.2% and 20.8%; p = 0.064). Significantly associated factors of NERD are considerably different from those of RE, indicating that these two disorders are pathophysiologically distinct. Eradication of Helicobacter pylori may have disadvantageous effects on RE but not on NERD.
    PLoS ONE 07/2013; 8(7):e69891. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0069891 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "The prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) has been increasing in Korea.1 One important factor causing this increase is the prevalence of obesity, which has increased in Korea in the past few decades.2-4 "
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    ABSTRACT: Obesity is regarded as an important contributor to the increasing occurrence of gastroesophageal reflux disease. The aims of this study were to determine whether obesity is associated with gastroesophageal reflux in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease and to identify the factors affecting increased acid exposure in obese patients. We retrospectively analyzed the data of patients who underwent ambulatory 24-hour pH monitoring and esophageal manometry at Seoul St. Mary's Hospital. Obesity was classified according to the Asia-Pacific criteria. A total of 366 patients were analyzed; 18 were underweight, 152 normal weight, 104 overweight, and 92 obese. Obesity was more frequent in men and younger patients. The percentage time of pH < 4 in the total, upright, and postprandial periods was significantly higher in obese patients than in normal or underweight patients. The DeMeester score was also higher in obese patients. Body mass index correlated positively with reflux parameters. Multivariate analysis showed that being male and obesity were significantly associated with abnormal acid exposure (P < 0.005). The total lower esophageal sphincter length shortened as body mass index increased (P < 0.005). The gastroesophageal pressure gradient increased as body mass index increased (P < 0.05). Obesity is associated with increasing esophageal acid exposure. The mechanism responsible for the relationship between gastroesophageal reflux disease and obesity may be associated with shortening of the lower esophageal sphincter length and increasing the gastroesophageal pressure gradient.
    Journal of neurogastroenterology and motility 07/2013; 19(3):338-43. DOI:10.5056/jnm.2013.19.3.338 · 2.30 Impact Factor
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