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Open Access Research article

Prevalence and risk factors of gastroesophageal reflux symptoms in a Chinese retiree cohort

Tiantian Chen12, Ming Lu1234*, Xiaofeng Wang34, Yajun Yang34, Juan Zhang4, Li Jin34 and Weimin Ye45

Author affiliations

1 Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Qilu Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan, 250012, China

2 Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Shandong University, Jinan, 250012, China

3 MOE Key Laboratory of Contemporary Anthropology, School of Life Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200433, China

4 China Medical City Institute of Health Sciences, Taizhou, Jiangsu, 225300, China

5 Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, 17177, Sweden

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Citation and License

BMC Gastroenterology 2012, 12:161  doi:10.1186/1471-230X-12-161

Published: 15 November 2012

Abstract

Background

Data about prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux diseases (GERD) from Asian populations are still scarce. To provide additional data on prevalence of GERD and investigate its potential risk factors, we performed this cross-sectional study in the Taizhou Retiree Cohort.

Methods

After physical examination, the participants were asked whether they suffered with heartburn or acid regurgitation in the last 12 months by trained interviewers, and if yes, the severity and frequency of the symptoms were recorded. Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the associations of obesity and other risk factors with GERD were derived from logistic regression models.

Results

8831 retirees completed the questionnaire and physical examination. In total 150 (1.7%) reported the symptoms occurring at least once per week within the last 12 months before the interview. Compared with subjects without GERD, having a history of diabetes mellitus (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.4-3.5), hypertension (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.0-2.1), gastritis (OR 8.2, 95% CI 5.8-11.5), peptic ulcer (OR 3.3, 95% CI 1.8-6.1) and high triglyceride level (≥1.81mmol/L) (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.2-3.4) were associated with a significantly increased risk of GERD. However, there was no significant association between body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio or waist alone, smoking, consumption of alcohol & tea, and the occurrence of reflux symptoms.

Conclusions

Compared with Western populations, the prevalence of GERD in this Chinese retiree cohort is low. A history of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, gastritis, peptic ulcer or hypertriglyceridaemia increases GERD risk in this population.

Keywords:
Gastroesophageal reflux symptoms; Body mass index; Obesity; Abdominal obesity; Retired population