Norway Shows Rise in Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Symptoms

Sex and age associated with incidence and spontaneous symptom remission

TUESDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms (GORS) in a Norwegian county increased substantially between 1995-7 and 2006-9, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in Gut.

Eivind Ness-Jensen, M.D., from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Levanger, and colleagues evaluated the prevalence changes (between 1995-7 and 2006-9), incidence, and spontaneous loss of GORS in adult residents of a county in Norway. A total of 58,869 and 44,997 adults were surveyed between 1995 and 1997 and between 2006 and 2009, respectively, regarding the degree of GORS over the previous 12 months. Sixty-one percent of these (29,610 participants) were followed for an average of 11 years.

The investigators found that, between 1995-7 and 2006-9, the increase in prevalence of any GORS was 30 percent (from 31.4 to 40.9 percent); the increase in prevalence of severe GORS was 24 percent (from 5.4 to 6.7 percent) and the increase in prevalence of at least weekly GORS was 47 percent (from 11.6 to 17.1 percent). The average annual incidence of any GORS was 3.07 percent, and of severe GORS was 0.23 percent. GORS incidence increased with increasing age in women, but not men. Any and severe GORS showed an average annual spontaneous loss (not due to antireflux medication) of 2.32 and 1.22 percent, respectively. Increasing age resulted in a decrease in spontaneous loss of GORS.

"The present study found a substantial increase in the prevalence of GORS during the past decade," the authors write.

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