Background: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is one of the most common upper gastrointestinal disorders that develop when a retrograde flow of stomach contents occurs leading to GERD symptoms or complications. The present study aimed at evaluating the prevalence of GERD and heartburn as well as their main characteristics and risk factors among the Saudi population, Saudi Arabia.
Methodology: A cross-sectional study was carried out on a random sample of the general population of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, during the period from 1 January to 16 June 2019, using a pre-designed questionnaire for data collection.
Results: The study included 1734 participants; the majorities (76.8%) of the participants were females. The study reported that 17.8% of the Saudi population had GERD. There was a significant correlation between GERD and gender, age, BMI group, marital status, region and family history of GERD (P>0.05) but, there was no relation with average family income. It was more prevalent among females by 73.1% and among the age group 31-40 years by 32 %. Further, 38.8% of cases were with average weight, and more than half were married (57.6%).
Conclusion: The study concluded that 17.8% of the Saudi population had GERD. There was a significant correlation between GERD and gender, age, obesity, marital status, region, and family history of GERD.
Key words: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), heartburn, the general population of Saudi Arabia.