Background: Population-based data on gastro-oesophageal reflux in Latin America are lacking.
Aim: To assess gastro-oesophageal reflux symptom prevalence, clinical spectrum and association with the atypical symptoms in our country.
Methods: Gastro-oesophageal reflux self-report questionnaires validated at Mayo Clinic, USA, were submitted to a sample of 1000 residents (aged 18–80 years) from 17 representative geographical areas of Argentina. The samples were selected and stratified according to age, gender, geographical areas and size of town of residence provided by the Argentine Bureau of Statistics and Census.
Results: The overall prevalence of any typical gastro-oesophageal reflux symptom experienced in the previous year was 61.2% (95% CI, 57.9–64.6), the prevalence of frequent gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms was 23.0% (95% CI, 20.1–25.9) and the prevalence of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease was 11.9% (95% CI, 9.6–14.1). Frequent gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms were associated with dysphagia (OR 2.12, 95% CI, 1.27–3.54, P < 0.01), globus (OR 2.22, 95% CI, 1.35–3.66, P < 0.01) and non-cardiac chest pain (OR 1.55, 95% CI, 1.04–2.31, P < 0.05).
Conclusions: In Argentina, typical symptoms of gastro-oesophageal reflux are highly prevalent at the national level, and frequent gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms are significantly associated with dysphagia, globus and non-cardiac chest pain.