J Neurogastroenterol Motil 2018; 24(4): 559-569  https://doi.org/10.5056/jnm18140
The Changing Epidemiology of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: Are Patients Getting Younger?
Takahisa Yamasaki,1 Colin Hemond,2 Mohamed Eisa,3 Stephen Ganocy,4 and Ronnie Fass1*
1The Esophageal and Swallowing Center, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, MetroHealth Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA; 2Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA; 3Department of Internal Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, MetroHealth Medical Center, Cleveland, OH, USA; and 4Center for Health Care Research and Policy, Case Western Reserve University, MetroHealth Medical Center, Cleveland, OH, USA
Correspondence to: Ronnie Fass, MD, FACG
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Esophageal and Swallowing Center, Case Western Reserve University, MetroHealth Medical Center, 2500 MetroHealth Drive, Cleveland, OH 44109, USA
Tel: +1-216-778-3145, Fax: +1-216-957-8410, E-mail: ronnie.fass@gmail.com
Received: August 7, 2018; Revised: August 22, 2018; Accepted: August 28, 2018; Published online: October 1, 2018.
© The Korean Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility. All rights reserved.

cc This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract
Background/Aims
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common disease globally with increasing prevalence and consequently greater burden on the Healthcare system. Traditionally, GERD has been considered a disease of middle-aged and older people. Since risk factors for GERD affect a growing number of the adult population, concerns have been raised that increasingly younger people may develop GERD. We aim to determine if the proportion of younger patients has increased among the GERD population.
Methods
The incidence of GERD as well as several variables were evaluated during an 11-year period. Explorys was used to evaluate datasets at a “Universal” and Healthcare system in northern Ohio to determine if trends at a local level reflected those at a universal level. GERD patients were classified into 7 age groups (15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, and ≥ 70 years).
Results
The proportion of patients with GERD increased in all age groups, except for those who were ≥ 70 years in the universal dataset (P < 0.001) and those who were ≥ 60 years in the Healthcare system (P < 0.001). The greatest rise was seen in 30-39 years in both datasets (P < 0.001). Similarly, the proportion of GERD patients who were using proton pump inhibitors increased in all age groups except for those who were ≥ 70 years in both datasets (P < 0.001), with the greatest increase being the group 30-39 years (P < 0.001).
Conclusion
Over the last decade, there has been a significant increase in the proportion of younger patients with GERD, especially those within the age range of 30-39 years.
Keywords: Age; Epidemiology; Gastroesophageal reflux disease; Proton pump inhibitors


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