Epidemiology And Etiology

GERD is prevalent in patients of all ages and appears to be increasing in both adults and children. The prevalence of GERD in Western countries is approximately 10% to 20%. Although mortality associated with GERD is rare, symptoms can significantly decrease quality of life. The true prevalence and incidence of GERD are unknown because: (a) many patients do not seek medical treatment, (b) symptoms do not always correlate well with disease severity, and (c) there is no gold standard for diagnosing the disease. The prevalence of erosive esophagitis increases in adults older than 40 years. There does not appear to be a major gender difference in incidence except for its association with pregnancy. Gender is an important factor in the development of Barrett's esophagus that occurs more frequently in males.

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