Prevalence of gastro-esophageal reflux disease and its risk factors in a community-based population in southern India.BMC Gastroenterol. 2016 Mar 15; 16:36.BG
The prevalence of gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) varies widely around the world. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence and risk factors of GERD in a general population of southern India.
An interview-based observational study was carried out in southern India during 2010 and early 2011 using a GERD questionnaire (GerdQ). In total 1072 participants were enrolled using a multi-stage cluster sampling method. Presence of GERD was defined as a score of ≥ 8. Logistic regression models were used to derive odds ratios (ORs) with 95 % confidence intervals (CIs).
The prevalence of GERD was 22.2 % (238/1072) in southern India, and was more common among older subjects and men. Overweight and obese subjects had a dose-dependent increased risk of GERD, compared to those with body mass index less than 25 (multivariate-adjusted OR = 1.4, 95 % CI 1.0-2.0; OR = 2.3, 95 % CI 1.3-4.1, respectively). People residing in urban community were more vulnerable to GERD than those in rural community (multivariate-adjusted OR = 1.8, 95 % CI 1.3-2.5). Similarly, those with a lower educational level appeared to have an increased risk of GERD. Further, those with a habit of pan masala chewing were more likely to develop GERD compared with those abstained from the habit (multivariate-adjusted OR = 2.0, 95 % CI 1.2-3.2).
GERD is highly prevalent in southern India. Increasing age and BMI, an urban environment, lower educational level, and pan masala chewing appear to be risk factors of GERD symptoms for the studied population.