The prevalence of symptoms suggestive of esophageal disorders

Scand J Gastroenterol. 1991 Jan;26(1):73-81. doi: 10.3109/00365529108996486.


A questionnaire study was conducted to assess the prevalence and severity of symptoms suggestive of esophageal disorders in a general population. The study included 407 randomly selected subjects, evenly distributed in terms of sex and age, within the age span of 20-79 years. A total of 337 subjects replied (85%). Symptoms suggestive of gastroesophageal reflux were found among 25% of the participants. Cough on swallowing was common (27%), as was globus (16%) and chest pain (13%). In addition, dysphagia was reported by 10% and vomiting by 9%. The symptoms were usually mild, and moderate to severe symptoms were reported only occasionally (1-4%). No statistical correlation was found between esophageal symptoms and age, sex, or the reported consumption of tobacco, alcohol, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The frequency of heartburn and/or acid regurgitation was twice as common among those with symptoms of respiratory disease as among those with no respiratory complaints. A stepwise logistic regression analysis showed that a chronic cough and/or breathing difficulties were significantly related to the presence of symptoms suggestive of gastroesophageal reflux.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Esophageal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Esophageal Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / epidemiology
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Regression Analysis
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden / epidemiology