The clinical course of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in children without comorbid illness is unclear.
In this study, doctors from North America identified a cohort of individuals with endoscopically diagnosed childhood GERD.
The team contacted 207 individuals several years later. Of these, 80 completed a validated symptom questionnaire between 2001 and 2003.
Respondents were invited to undergo an upper endoscopy or to share results of any endoscopic examination performed within the past 12 months.
The team calculated the proportion with GERD symptoms, and who currently used antisecretory medications.
Of the 80 respondents, 18% underwent an upper endoscopy.
|23% had weekly symptoms.|
|American Journal of Gastroenterology|
The mean age of participants was 20 years, 73% were Caucasian, and 60% were female.
The team found that childhood GERD was documented at a mean age of 5 years.
They also determined that 80% had monthly heartburn and/or acid regurgitation within the past 12 months. Furthermore, 23% had weekly symptoms.
An additional 3 patients were asymptomatic but taking antisecretory therapy.
Overall, 30% of respondents were currently taking antisecretory medication, and 19 patients had undergone fundoplication.
Dr Hashem El-Serag's team concluded, "GERD in otherwise normal children can persist through adolescence and adulthood in a significant proportion of patients who continue to have GERD symptoms and signs, and use antisecretory medications".
"Childhood GERD is a risk factor for GERD in adolescence and adulthood".