Aim: To evaluate the prevalence and sociodemographics of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms and to identify treatment patterns among GERD patients.
Methods: A telephone survey of a representative sample of the adult Israeli population was conducted. The questionnaire included detailed sociodemographics, history of GERD symptoms and the various treatments used.
Results: The survey included 2027 subjects. Twice weekly, once weekly and monthly GERD symptoms were reported by 8.4%, 12.5% and 21.5% of subjects, respectively. There was no difference in prevalence between men and woman; however, GERD symptoms were significantly more prevalent within the older age group and lower socioeconomic status. Among those reporting weekly symptoms, a quarter did not use any kind of therapy and another quarter used various traditional remedies (e.g. soda, milk, almonds, etc.). Antacids were used by 35.1%, H(2) blockers by 13.2% and PPIs by 17.5%.
Conclusion: We found that 12.5% of the adult Israeli population experience weekly GERD symptoms. GERD prevalence and sociodemographics are similar to those described in other Western countries, and treatment is still suboptimal.
Keywords: Gastroesophageal reflux disease; Prevalence; Sociodemographics.