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Summary

Aims : To study the prevalence, clinical characteristics and long-term outcome of oesophagitis in Chinese patients.

Methods : Clinical and endoscopic data were collected prospectively from consecutive patients who underwent upper endoscopy between 1997 and 2001. Patients with endoscopic oesophagitis were graded according to the Los Angeles system and analysed according to their clinical presentation, endoscopic details, Helicobacter pylori status, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug history, co-morbidity and mortality.

Results : A total of 22 628 upper endoscopies were performed in 16 606 patients. Of these, 631 (3.8%) had endoscopic oesophagitis, 14 had benign oesophageal stricture (0.08%) and 10 had Barrett's oesophagus (0.06%). Most patients (94%) had either Los Angeles grade A or grade B oesophagitis. Patients who died during follow-up had a significantly higher incidence of co-morbid illness (100% vs. 63%, P < 0.001). By Cox regression analysis, the presence of gastrointestinal bleeding (P = 0.008), advanced age (P = 0.004) and the use of Ryle's tube (P = 0.043) were identified to be independent factors associated with mortality.

Conclusions : Complicated gastro-oesophageal reflux disease is uncommon in the Asian population. Advanced age, use of Ryle's tube and the presence of gastrointestinal bleeding are associated with a poor long-term outcome, which is a reflection of the severe underlying co-morbidity.