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Original Article

IJMDC. 2022; 6(11): 1337-1344

Dietary and lifestyle factors related to gastroesophageal reflux among Saudi population: a questionnaire-based study

Faisal Khaled H Alhomayani, Rayan Dhafer M Alamri, Baraa Fouad Abukhudhayr, Razan Mohammed Al Omireen, Zainab Jaffer Alshaikhahmed, Atheer Hassan Ismail, Abdulelah Hasan Alkhudairi.


Background: Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) differs from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which causes more severe symptoms and complications. The backflow of stomach acid initiates GER into the esophagus. Therefore, this study aims to identify the lifestyle factors related to GER.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 1,391 participants using a designed questionnaire (as a Google form) carried out among the targeted population through social media platforms until the target sample size was attained. After that, the data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences software.
Results: The study included 1,391 participants; 67.3% were female and 32.7% were male. Almost half of the participants (53.7%) were aged between 20 and 30 years old. About 43.1% of the participants had a healthy normal BMI, 26.9% were overweight, and 16.2% were obese. The remaining 11.4% were underweight and only 2.4% were morbidly obese. 5.1% of the participants felt heartburns more than thrice a week, 8.4% felt it twice or thrice a week, and 9.6% felt it once a week. 3% of the participants felt food regurgitation more than thrice a week, 6.3% felt it twice or thrice a week, and 6.7% felt it once a week. Only 9% of the participants had undergone Gastrointestinal tract endoscopy before and 4% did a PH monitoring. 19.5% of the participants eat midnight snacks, 30.9% skip breakfast, 31.3% eat quickly, and 20.1% eat beyond fullness.
Conclusion: Eating midnight snacks, skipping breakfast, eating quickly, eating beyond fullness, lying down soon after eating, and less than 3 hours between dinner and sleep were the most reported lifestyle elements associated with GERD symptoms.

Key words: GERD, dietary, lifestyle factors, GER.

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