Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is a chronic and a common condition worldwide which causes mild to severe symptoms. Private tuition attendees are a group which could have potential risk factors for GORD. Therefore, we aimed to determine the prevalence, associated factors and medication for symptoms related to GORD among advanced level private-tuition attendees of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.
A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among students aged ≥18 years. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data. Students scoring ≥ eight on the Frequency Scale for Symptoms of GORD were categorised to have symptoms related to GORD. Logistic regression was performed to determine the significant association between the variables of interest and the presence of symptoms related to GORD (P < 0.05).
Data of 1114 students were included for the analysis. A high prevalence of symptoms related to GORD (52% – 580/1114) was noted. Heartburn received the highest score among GORD symptoms. Biology students had the highest prevalence of GORD symptoms (63% – 127/201). Also, Biology students had the highest percentage for the utilisation of overall (17% – 35/201) and prescribed (13% – 27/201) medication for GORD symptoms. Presence of symptoms related to GORD was significantly associated with female sex [OR – 0.436 (95% CI 0.342-0.555)], being boarded [OR – 2.021 (95% CI 1.325-3.083)], chronic illness [OR – 2.632 (95% CI 1.439-4.813)], midnight snack [OR – 1.776 (95% CI 1.379-2.287)], frequent lack of breakfast [OR – 2.145 (95% CI 1.688, 2.725)], quick eating [OR – 1.394 (95% CI 1.091-1.780)] and inadequate sleep [OR – 2.077 (95% CI 1.624-2.655)].
A high prevalence of symptoms related to GORD in comparison to previous literature was found among private tuition attendees. Possible reasons for the above findings were discussed.