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Comparison of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease and heartburn diagnoses in UK primary care
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Family Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology.
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2006 (English)In: Current Medical Research and Opinion, ISSN 0300-7995, Vol. 22, no 9, 1661-1668 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: It is unclear how gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is diagnosed in primary care. The aim of this study is to compare patients given a diagnosis of GORD with those diagnosed with heartburn.

Research design and methods: Data from the UK General Practice Research Database were extracted for patients newly diagnosed with heartburn (n = 1841) or GORD (n = 5318) in 1996.

Main outcome measures., Patient characteristics, morbidity, healthcare use and prescribed treatments were compared using unconditional logistic regression analysis.

Results: GORD was diagnosed more frequently than heartburn (3.2 vs. 1.1 per 1000 patient-years). A diagnosis of GORD was less likely among females (odds ratio (OR): 0.8; confidence interval (Cl): 0.7-0.9), smokers (OR: 0.8; Cl: 0.7-0.9) and patients who consulted their physician frequently (OR: 0.8; Cl: 0.7-0.9). There was a wide distribution in the ratio of GORD-to-heartburn diagnoses between primary care practices (mean 2.9; range 0-infinity). GORD patients were more likely to receive proton pump inhibitors (OR: 2.9; Cl: 2.6-3.4), but 24% of GORD patients and 40% of heartburn patients received no acid-suppressive treatment in the month after diagnosis.

Conclusions: Several factors influenced the diagnosis of gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms by primary care physicians. Further research is needed to aid the diagnosis of GORD in primary care.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 22, no 9, 1661-1668 p.
Keyword [en]
diagnosis, gastro-oesophageal reflux, heartburn, primary health care
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-105655DOI: 10.1185/030079906X120986ISI: 000241152700005PubMedID: 16968569OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-105655DiVA: diva2:221996
Available from: 2009-06-05 Created: 2009-06-05 Last updated: 2011-08-15Bibliographically approved

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