Background: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a gastrointestinal motility disorder that results from the reflux of the stomach contents into the esophagus or oral cavity, causing symptoms that include heartburn and regurgitation of gastric contents into the oropharynx. This study was conducted to explore the awareness about the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux and its predisposing factors among the Saudi population.
Methodology: A cross-sectional study using e-mail survey in the period between November and December 2018 was conducted. The convenient samples of 381 Saudi persons above 18 years were included. A structured questionnaire in Arabic was developed including demographic data, perception of diseases, medications, surgeries, lifestyles, and foodstuffs that may lead to GERD. The descriptive statistics and the Chi-square test were used.
Results: The total number of participants was 381, of which 105 cases had GERD. The mean score of awareness to diseases, surgeries, and medications predisposing to GERD was 52.1 ± 11.39, for awareness of symptoms related to GERD was 53.0 ± 9.82, for awareness of lifestyles related to GERD symptoms was 53.9 ± 8.24, and for awareness of foodstuff related was 56.5 ± 10.63. The overall awareness score was 53.9 ± 7.46.
Conclusion: Although GERD is a common disorder among the Saudi population, awareness about predisposing factors and complaints was generally unsatisfactory. Awareness of predisposing factors is important for decreasing the prevalence of cases, symptoms, and complications.
Key words: Gastroesophageal reflux, gastroesophageal sphincter, acid reflux, retrosternal pain