Increasing Prevalence of Erosive Esophagitis Among Taiwanese Aged 40 Years and Above: A Comparison Between Two Time Periods

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BackgroundEarlier prevalence studies have reported an increasing trend of gastroesophageal reflux disease in Asia, and obesity may be the promoting factor.GoalsThis study compared the prevalence of erosive esophagitis and obesity status among the same source of subjects in Taiwan between 1995 and 2002.StudyIn the same routine health checkup unit, we recruited 1902 apparently healthy adults in 2002 matched by sex and age with 2044 individuals recruited in 1995. The prevalence of esophagitis and body mass index between these 2 groups were compared.ResultsThe crude prevalence of esophagitis increased from 5% in 1995 to 12.6% in 2002 (P<0.0001). Comparing by age stratum, there was an increase of esophagitis among subjects aged 40 years and above, with a dose-response relationship of adjusted prevalence ratios 2.65 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.10, 4.20] in those aged 40 to 49 years, 3.15 (95% CI: 1.51, 4.79) in those aged 50 to 59 years, and 4.33 (95% CI: 2.56, 6.11) in those aged 60 years and above. The prevalence of esophagitis increased in both sexes. BMI was positively associated with the presence of esophagitis in women, but the proportion of overweight or obesity did not increase in women aged 40 years and above over time.ConclusionsThere was a 2.5-fold of increase in prevalence of erosive esophagitis among Taiwanese adults from 1995 to 2002, particularly in those aged 40 years and above. Factors other than obesity seem to contribute to the increasing trend of erosive esophagitis in Taiwanese women.

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