Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may be accompanied by erosive complications that are diagnosed by endoscopy. This study aimed to describe the characteristics of patients newly diagnosed with GERD who are referred for endoscopy, and the factors associated with esophageal endoscopic findings. This study included patients aged 2-79 years with a first recorded diagnosis of GERD in 1996, as identified in a previous cohort study in the UK General Practice Research Database. The rate and results of endoscopy were recorded. Unconditional logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for the relationship between a range of factors and endoscopy and its findings. Of the 7159 patients with a new GERD diagnosis, 805 (11%) underwent endoscopy close to the time of first consultation for GERD. Endoscopic findings indicative of esophageal damage were recorded in 73% of these patients. Esophageal endoscopic findings were significantly more likely in males, older patients, and individuals with a history of peptic ulcer disease or gastrointestinal bleeding. Use of acid-suppressive drugs, particularly proton pump inhibitors, was inversely associated with erosive endoscopic findings. Patients with erosive endoscopic findings were more likely to start a new course of treatment with a proton pump inhibitor. In conclusion, relatively few patients are referred for endoscopy close to the first consultation for GERD, and the majority of these individuals have esophageal findings. Male gender, increasing age and a history of bleeding were risk factors for esophageal complications.