Clinical Spectrum of Reflux Esophagitis Among 25,536 Koreans Who Underwent a Health Check-up: A Nationwide Multicenter Prospective, Endoscopy-based Study

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Gastroesophageal reflux is a commonly encountered condition, but detailed data on reflux symptoms in Asian countries are lacking.


To evaluate the prevalence and to document the clinical spectrum of endoscopic reflux esophagitis (RE).


A total 25,536 subjects underwent an upper gastrointestinal endoscopic examination as part of a health check, and completed a gastroesophageal reflux questionnaire. Endoscopic findings classified according to the Los Angeles (LA) classification and the data from gastroesophageal reflux questionnaire were analyzed.


On the basis of endoscopic findings, 2019 subjects (7.91%) were found to have RE: 5.87% in LA-A; 1.84% in LA-B; 0.18% in LA-C; and 0.02% in LA-D. Heartburn, acid regurgitation, chest pain, hoarseness, globus sensation, cough, and epigastric soreness were found to be associated with RE (P<0.05). Heartburn, acid regurgitation, and epigastric soreness were more frequent in LA-B than in LA-A (P<0.05). Epigastric soreness was most bothersome in LA-A and LA-B, and acid regurgitation was most bothersome in LA-C and LA-D (P<0.01). Heartburn, hoarseness, and globus sensation were more frequent in men with RE, and acid regurgitation was most common in women.


The prevalence of RE was found to be 7.91% in Korea, and the profiles of reflux symptoms were found to depend on grade of RE and sex.

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