The gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a public health issue for its prevalence and association with low life quality and substantial costs. Since most of Italian data refer to over a decade ago, the aim was to provide an updated estimate of GERD symptoms prevalence. Knowledge about appropriate nutrition and behaviours in presence of GERD was assessed. Predictors for symptoms presence and knowledge were explored.
This study was an online cross-sectional survey that investigated socio-demographics, knowledge about nutrition/behaviours in case of GERD (Knowledge Score KS: percentage of right answers), nutrition/lifestyle attitudes. The questionnaire included the GerdQ to assess symptoms (presence if score≥8). Adults resident in Italy were enrolled between June and August 2019 through convenience sampling on the major social networks (sample size=559). Descriptive analyses were run. Multivariable regressions were performed to explore predictors of symptoms presence and KS.
The 27.7% had GERD symptoms. Among them, 33.8% never received GERD information by their General Practitioner (GP). Body Mass Index (p=0.036), secondary education (p=0.040) were associated with higher symptoms risk. Weekly exercise was associated with lower risk (p<0.001). Median KS was 92% (IQR=12). Sleeping on the left side, chocolate, citrus fruit, mint reported the lowest right answers percentages. None/basic education was negatively associated with KS (p<0.001), being female (p=0.004) and in a relationship (p=0.012) positively.
A high prevalence was reported, consistently with the worldwide increasing trend. Despite overall knowledge was high, specific gaps were found. GPs should improve communication and awareness campaigns targeted to less known aspects must be planned.
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