Objectives: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is one of the most common conditions seen in general medical practice which is associated with an impaired quality of life. This study determined the prevalence of GERD symptoms in a Jamaican population
Methods: Eligible individuals between the ages of 18-75yrs, were invited to complete a questionnaire which included demographic data as well as the frequency and severity of typical GERD symptoms.
Results: The questionnaire was completed by 422 subjects with 51% males and 49% females. The prevalence of any GERD symptoms within the previous year was 71.1%. Females were more frequently affected, 75.7%, compared to 67.3% of males. Weekly symptoms was present in 18.6%. Symptoms of moderate or greater severity were reported in 11.7%. The most common and bothersome symptom experienced was heartburn. Nocturnal symptoms that awaken the affected subjects occurred in 17.8%. GERD was strongly associated with food, supine posture and heavy meals (p<0.0001). There was no significant association with GERD and age or BMI. In persons with GERD symptoms, 24.2% (P= 0.000) saw a doctor for their symptoms and 38.6% took medication for their symptoms (p<0.0001) which included prescription medications in 42.7%, over the counter medications in 36.3% and combination of both in 15.3%
Conclusions: Symptoms of GERD are common and significant problem in the Jamaican population studied. Heartburn was the most bothersome symptom reported. Medications were taken by over one-third of symptomatic persons.
Manuscripts that are Published Ahead of Print have been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by the Editorial Board of the West Indian Medical Journal. They may appear in their original format and may not be copy edited or formatted in the style guide of this Journal. While accepted manuscripts are not yet assigned a volume, issue or page numbers, they can be cited using the DOI and date of e-publication. See our Instructions for Authors on how to properly cite manuscripts at this stage. The contents of the manuscript may change before it is published in its final form. Manuscripts in this section will be removed once they have been issued to a volume and issue, but will still retain the DOI and date of e-publication.