Long-term treatment of patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease in routine care – results from the ProGERD study

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Abstract

Background

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common condition frequently requiring long-term pharmacological treatment.

Aim

To describe the long-term pattern of GERD medication use in GERD patients receiving routine care.

Methods

Patients were recruited as part of the ongoing ProGERD study, a 10-year-cohort study including 6215 patients at baseline. GERD medication and symptoms were assessed with patient questionnaires. During follow-up, medical treatment was prescribed by participating primary care physicians. Associations between patient characteristics and medication were analysed by logistic regression.

Results

The percentage of patients who reported using any GERD medication remained constant from year 1 to year 4 (74%, 74%, 73% and 71%). Of patients who reported using GERD medication, the majority were taking proton pump inhibitors (PPI) (79%, 84%, 85%, and 87%). Continuous PPI intake was the predominant prescription pattern (53%, 49%, 56% and 56%), followed by on-demand treatment (26%, 35%, 29% and 29%). Continuous PPI intake was strongly associated with the presence of erosive GERD.

Conclusion

Three-quarters of the GERD population in our study reported long-term treatment with a PPI. Continuous PPI intake was the predominant treatment pattern, and the proportion of patients taking a PPI on a continuous basis remained constant over time.

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