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Review
, 26 Suppl 1, 2-10

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease in Asia: A Historical Perspective and Present Challenges

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Review

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease in Asia: A Historical Perspective and Present Challenges

Khean-Lee Goh. J Gastroenterol Hepatol.

Abstract

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), previously uncommon in Asia, has now become an important disease in the region. Although much variability exists between studies, most endoscopy-based studies show a prevalence of erosive esophagitis of more than 10%. Symptom-based studies also show a prevalence of 6-10%. Two longitudinal follow-up studies on GERD symptoms have shown an increase with time, and several endoscopy-based time trend studies have also shown a significant increase in erosive reflux esophagitis. Studies on Barrett's esophagus have been confounded by the description of short (SSBE) and long segment (LSBE) Barrett's esophagus. Great variation in prevalence rates has been reported. SSBE vary from 0.1% to more than 20% while LSBE vary from 1-2%. Of the putative causative factors, obesity has been the most important. Many studies have linked GERD-esophagitis as well as occurrence of reflux symptoms with an increase in body mass index (BMI), obesity, especially visceral or central obesity, and metabolic syndrome. A decline in Helicobacter pylori infection with growing affluence in Asia has been broadly thought to result in healthier stomachs and a higher gastric acid output resulting in reflux disease. However, variable results have been obtained from association and H. pylori eradication studies.

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