Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common disorder with a high incidence rate in adults of 10 - 38%. The diagnosis and treatment of GERD are therefore important because the disease, in addition to the highly disturbing typical symptoms, has a series of known consequences. The presence of GERD may affect patients' quality of life, decrease functional activity, and increase the risk of esophageal carcinoma.
Although many investigators have reported the prevalence of erosive esophagitis, the prevalence of non-erosive reflux disease (NERD) has not been investigated in China.
A research article published in the issue 45 of the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses this question. The research team led by Dr. You-Ming Li analyzed a spectrum of GERD subjects based on presenting symptoms and endoscopic findings.
One conclusion reported by the investigators is that of the 2231 recruited participants, 31.4% were diagnosed as having GERD, 10.6% were NERD patients, while 20.80% had objective findings of reflux esophagitis, including 19.5% patients with grade A or B reflux esophagitis, 0.90% with grade C and 0.40% with grade D.
Another conclusion is that old age, being male, having a moderate working burden, being divorced/widowed and heavy tea consumption remained significant independent risk factors for erosive esophagitis. Routine consumption of greasy food and constipation were considered significant independent risk factors for NERD.
GERD is one of the common GI diseases with a high occurrence rate in China, and its main associated factors include sex, anthropometrical variables and social-psychological characteristics.