Epidemiology of globus symptoms and associated psychological factors in China

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To investigate the lifetime prevalence, epidemiological characteristics and psychological factors of globus symptoms in Guangzhou (Guangzhou Province, China).


A total of 3 360 individuals were randomly selected and participated in the study. Respondents completed questionnaires about their physical and psychological characteristics, globus symptomatology and the Glasgow-Edinburgh throat scale questionnaires and quality of sleep and life. Those who had experienced a globus sensation with no history of gastroesophageal reflux disease, dysphagia, odynophagia or alerting symptoms such as weight loss and hoarseness were diagnosed as having globus.


A total of 3 006 respondents completed the questionnaires, giving a response rate of 89.5%. The overall lifetime prevalence of globus was 21.5%, with a peak age at disease onset of 35–54 years. The prevalence of globus was higher in participants from the urban region than those from the rural areas (26.5% vs 16.4%, P = 0.001). No sex-related difference was observed (P = 0.082). Anxiety (39.8% vs 22.3%, P = 0.001), depression (31.2% vs 18.0%, P = 0.001) and sleep disorders (23.7% vs 13.6%, P = 0.001) were significantly more common in respondents with globus than in those without. Scores on all dimensions of the 36-item short-form health survey, except physical function, were lower in respondents with globus than in those without (all P < 0.05).


Globus symptoms are common and often accompanied by psychological and sleep disorders. The medical community should pay more attention to globus in clinical setting.

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