Gastroesophageal reflux disease prevalence in the city of Sivas
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Background/aims: Epidemiological data of gastroesophageal reflux disease from Turkey is scarce. For this reason, we aimed to determine the gastroesophageal reflux disease prevalence in our region and to compare it with both the Western part of Turkey and with other countries in the world. Material and methods: We used a previously validated reflux questionnaire and applied it to a random sample of 1345 subjects stratified by socio-economic status, who were older than 20 years and were living in the city center of Sivas. The questionnaire was conducted by medical students who were attending Public Health internship. Results: We estimated a prevalence rate of 19.3% for gastroesophageal reflux disease, defined as heartburn and/or acid regurgitation at least once a week or more frequent. We found a significant association of gastroesophageal reflux disease with age, obesity, lying down within two hours after meals, and being under stress within the last one year, but not with smoking. Comorbid diseases associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease presence included recurrent pharyngitis, chronic cough, asthma, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, but not coronary heart disease. 50.8% of our subjects had visited a physician for gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms. The most common drug they used was proton pump inhibitors. Conclusion: The prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease in a city of the Middle Anatolian region of Turkey was similar to that in developed countries and also to the results of another study performed in the Western part of Turkey. Further studies are needed to elucidate the role of environmental factors in the development of gastroesophageal reflux disease.