SUMMARY. Recent studies indicate that the prevalence of reflux esophagitis (RE) in China is increasing. RE is one of the most common esophageal complications associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and RE-Barrett's esophagus-esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) sequence has been considered as an histogenesis model for EAC in Western countries. RE is only present in a subset of patients with GERD, suggesting an altered susceptibility to RE may exist in these GERD individuals. However, the genetic changes related with high susceptibility to RE is largely unknown. The polymorphisms in glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) T1, M1 and P1 have been reported with high susceptibity to esophageal cancer in Chinese people. The present case-control study was thus undertaken to characterize the genetic polymorphisms of GSTs and their correlation with susceptibility to RE. One hundred and nine patients with RE, 97 patients with nonerosive reflux disease (NERD) and 97 normal controls were recruited in this study. All the subjects were from Beijing, China, and received endoscopic examination and questionnaires for RE. Genomic DNA was extracted from the lymphocytes of peripheral blood for each subject. Genotypes of the GSTM1 and GSTT1 genes were analyzed by a multiplex PCR method. A→G polymorphism of codon 104 of the GSTP1 gene was detected using PCR-based restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLP). The variant GSTP1 genotypes (*A/*Bο*B/*B) was found with a high frequency in the case with RE (40%), and followed by NERD (25%) and normal control (22%). The differences were statistically significant (P < 0.05). The risk for RE increased 2.42-fold [odds ratio (OR); 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 2.42 (1.22–4.80)] in the subjects with variant GSTP1 genotype. The subjects with positive variant GSTP1 genotypes and negative H. pylori infection showed increasing tendency for risk of RE [OR (95% CI), 2.67 (1.06–6.70)]. However, the subjects with GSTT1 and GSTM1 polymorphisms did not show any correlation with high risk for RE or NERD. No significant interactions were identified between the variant GSTs and cigarette smoking, or alcohol drinking and subtype of RE. The present result suggests that GSTP1 genetic polymorphism may be one of the high susceptibility factors involved in the mechanisms of RE. H. pylori infection may play a protective role against RE.