Gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms and health-related quality of life in the adult general population--the Kalixanda study

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2006 Jun 15;23(12):1725-33. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2006.02952.x.


Background: The impact of gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms on health-related quality of life in the general population is poorly characterized.

Aim: To identify the frequency of troublesome reflux symptoms associated with impaired health-related quality of life in the general population.

Methods: A representative random sample of 3000 adult inhabitants of northern Sweden was surveyed using the validated Abdominal Symptom Questionnaire (response rate 74%). In total, 1001 random responders were endoscoped and assessed using the Short Form-36 Health Survey.

Results: Complete data were obtained for 999 subjects: 6% reported reflux symptoms (heartburn and/or regurgitation) daily, 14% weekly and 20% less than weekly during the previous 3 months. Compared with no reflux symptoms, a clinically relevant impairment of health-related quality of life (>or=5 points and P < 0.05) was seen in all eight Short Form-36 dimensions for daily symptoms, in five dimensions for weekly symptoms and in one dimension for less than weekly symptoms. There were no meaningful differences in Short Form-36 scores between subjects with and without oesophagitis.

Conclusions: Most aspects of health-related quality of life were impaired in individuals with daily or weekly reflux symptoms. Troublesome reflux symptoms at least weekly may identify gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Esophagitis / epidemiology
  • Esophagitis / psychology
  • Female
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / epidemiology
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden / epidemiology