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Revista Colombiana de Gastroenterologia

Print version ISSN 0120-9957


PARAMO-HERNANDEZ, David B et al. Prevalence of Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Symptoms and Associated Factors: A Population Survey in the Principal Cities Of Colombia. Rev Col Gastroenterol [online]. 2016, vol.31, n.4, pp.337-346. ISSN 0120-9957.

Problem: Gastroesophageal reflux is a physiological process that can become pathological in some people. It can cause discomfort and esophageal and extra-esophageal injuries and can affect the quality of life of anyone affected by it. Currently there are no statistics on the frequency of this condition in Colombia. Objective: The objective of this study was to use the GerdQ questionnaire to quantify the prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease in adults in four major cities of Colombia and to explore the association of sociodemographic and anthropometric variables with this disease. Methodology: This was a cross-sectional population-based study of 6,842 people between the ages of 18 years and 80 in Bogotá, Cali, Medellín and Barranquilla. The sample was selected by stratified random sampling. A telephone survey was conducted that included the GERD Q questionnaire for the identification of reflux symptoms within the week prior to an interview. The prevalence of reflux by socioeconomic strata was calculated using a cut-off point of 8 or more points. Comparisons were made among strata using the χ2 test. Associations of sociodemographic and anthropometric variables were explored through bivariate analysis and logistic regression models. Results: We obtained 6,842 surveys. The overall estimated prevalence of reflux was 11.98% (95% CI = 11.05%-12.97%). The city of Barranquilla presented the highest frequency of 16.22% (95% CI = 14.58%-18.01%) while Bogotá had the lowest of 10.75% (95% CI = 9.30%-12.38%). For symptoms evaluated with GERD-Q, the estimated prevalences were: heartburn 13.6% (95% CI = 12.50% - 14.60%), regurgitation 16.9% (95% CI = 15, 74% - 17.99%), epigastralgia 16.67% (95% CI = 15.54% -17.80%), nausea 11.4% (95% CI = 10.46% - 12.35%), difficulty sleeping due to heartburn or regurgitation 8.17% (95% CI = 7.36% -8.97%) and consumption of medications additional to those formulated by the physician 6.68% (95% CI = 6, 01% - 7.35%). Women living in Barranquilla or Medellín, had statistically significant levels of comorbidities associated with reflux. Conclusion: The prevalence of reflux in four important Colombian cities measured with the GerdQ questionnaire was 11.98% (95% CI = 11.05-12.97) which is similar to prevalences reported in other Latin American countries. Comorbidities (particularly hypertension) are the factor that was most frequently associated with this condition in all strata of the study.

Keywords : Prevalence; symptoms; gastroesophageal reflux; Gerd Q; associated factors.

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