Background: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common chronic gastrointestinal tract disease. The incidence is higher in Asian and Arab countries. In Saudi Arabia, there are few studies that have assessed the prevalence of GERD among some cities' communities. Hence, this study aims to study the prevalence of GERD among the general population of Saudi Arabia.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was designed to determine the prevalence of GERD among the community of Saudi Arabia. The sample was randomly gathered through self-administered validated GERD questionnaire (GerdQ) to diagnose GERD, during the period from November to December 2016. The sociodemographic data was assessed for all participants. The data were analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 21.0 (SPSS); the t-test was used to assess the association of GERD and sociodemographic data.
Results: The sample was comprised of 2,043 participants. Female and male were 51.8% and 48.2%, respectively. Mean age was 29.6 years with the standard deviation of 10.5 years. The GERD prevalence was 28.7%. It was found statistically significant among divorced/widow (34.9%, P = 0.003). In contrast, there was no association between GERD's prevalence and gender, age, residence status, education level, occupation, and blood group (P > 0.05).
Conclusions: The prevalence of GERD among Saudi population is higher than that in Western countries and East Asia. It affects divorced/widow, obese and those with a sedentary lifestyle. It is advocated that national programs and educational campaigns for prevention of this disease and its complications should be established.
Keywords: GERD; Prevalence; Reflux; Saudi Arabia.