Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the most common cause of erosive esophagitis. The diagnosis and treatment of GERD are therefore important because the disease, in addition to the highly disturbing typical symptoms, 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.
Hence, Chinese researchers, led by Dr. You-Ming Li analysed a range of GERD subjects based on presenting symptoms and endoscopic findings.
They found that of the 2231 recruited participants, 31.4 percent were diagnosed as having GERD, 10.6 percent were NERD patients, while 20.80 percent had objective findings of reflux esophagitis, including 19.5percent patients with grade A or B reflux esophagitis, 0.90percent with grade C and 0.40percent with grade D.
The team also discovered that old age, being male, having a reasonable working load, 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, the researchers said. 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.