Profile of GERD in the adult population of a northeast urban community

J Clin Gastroenterol. 2004 Sep;38(8):651-7. doi: 10.1097/01.mcg.0000135364.12794.e5.


Study: An observational, cross-sectional, epidemiology study of the characteristics of GERD in a large northeast urban population was performed using a self-responding 84-question survey. Four-hundred and ten surveys were completed from a population sample with demographics comparable to those of the 1990 US Census data.

Results: No differences in heartburn frequency (monthly) were found between white or black, male or female respondents. Heartburn was significantly (P = 0.01) less common in those over age 60 (36.9%) than in young (47.7%) or middle-age (57.3%) respondents. Impact of heartburn on social activities was less (P = 0.002) in the over 60 group (4.9%) compared with the young (19.3%) or middle-age (20.0%) groups. Although 49.8% of respondents were familiar to the term GERD, few were aware that swallowing difficulty (17.3%), asthma (9.3%) or hoarseness (11.5%) were possible symptoms and similar numbers considered stroke (33.2%) and cancer (31.7%) to be complications of GERD.

Conclusions: Frequency of GERD symptoms in the United States is unaffected by gender or race but is lower in the elderly.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / diagnosis*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / epidemiology*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Health