Hygiene could affect GERD prevalence independently: a population-based study in Tehran

Am J Gastroenterol. 2007 Jul;102(7):1353-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1572-0241.2007.01208.x. Epub 2007 Apr 16.


Objective: Population-based data on gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in Iran are limited. Current study is going to determine the prevalence of GERD in Tehran, Iran, and its association with potential risk factors.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, a random clustered sample of Tehran province permanent households was selected from the latest postcodes. Data were collected by direct interview for each person aged 18-65 yr. GERD was defined as the existence of at least weekly episodes of heartburn and/or acid regurgitation during the last 6 months. All participants were asked about past and recent sanitary conditions, oral hygiene, and smoking. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using multivariable analysis.

Results: Interview was performed with 2,561 eligible subjects (42.3% men). Response rate was 84.8%. The prevalence of GERD was 21.2% (95% CI 18.7-23.7). According to multivariable logistic regression analyses, individuals whose drinking water was obtained from well or tank during childhood were more prone to experience GERD symptoms (OR 1.54, 95% CI 1.03-1.77 and OR 2.46, 95% CI 1.53-3.96, respectively). We also detected significant associations with increasing number of missing teeth (P value for linear trend = 0.02) and history of unpurified water consumption during past 10 yr (P < 0.001). Current smokers had a higher prevalence of reflux (OR 1.82, 95% CI 1.32-2.51).

Conclusion: The prevalence of GERD in our Iranian population was considerably higher than that reported from other Asian studies approaching western figures. GERD prevalence was significantly associated with the history of unpurified water consumption, poor sanitary conditions of childhood, number of missing teeth, and smoking in this population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / epidemiology*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Hygiene*
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Urban Population*