Oesophageal symptoms are common and associated with other functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) in an English-speaking Western population

Axel Josefsson, Olafur Palsson, Magnus Simrén, Ami D. Sperber, Hans Törnblom, William Whitehead

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Scopus citations


    Background: The prevalence and frequency of oesophageal symptoms suggestive of a functional oesophageal disorder according to the Rome IV criteria are unknown. Objective: We aimed to describe the prevalence and risk factors for oesophageal symptoms compatible with functional oesophageal disorders in the general population. Methods: Data were analysed from a population-based online survey of 6300 individuals aged ≥ 18 years in the USA, UK and Canada with equal demographic proportions across countries. Questions included the Rome IV diagnostic questionnaire, demographics, medication, somatization, quality of life, and organic gastrointestinal (GI) disease. Multivariate analysis was used to identify factors independently related to oesophageal symptoms. Results: Data from 5177 participants (47.8% female; mean age 46.7 years) were available for analysis. Symptom prevalence was 8.1% for globus, 6.5% for heartburn, 4.5% for dysphagia and 5.2% for chest pain, and 17.0% reported at least one oesophageal symptom. Oesophageal symptoms were independently associated with younger age, female gender, previous abdominal surgery and the presence of other functional GI disorders. Reporting oesophageal symptoms was associated with reduced quality of life. Conclusion: Oesophageal symptoms are common in the general population and important predictors include other functional GI disorders, age and gender. Oesophageal symptoms are associated with poorer quality of life.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1461-1469
    Number of pages9
    JournalUnited European Gastroenterology Journal
    Issue number10
    StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018


    • Functional oesophageal disorders
    • chest pain
    • dysphagia
    • globus
    • heartburn
    • oesophageal symptoms
    • prevalence of oesophageal symptoms

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Oncology
    • Gastroenterology


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