Background/Aims: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common gastrointestinal disease. This study was designed to examine current epidemiology, diagnosis, management, and treatment of patients diagnosed with GERD by surveying physicians in several East Asian countries. Methods: A questionnaire-based survey was completed in six countries including China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and Thailand between July 2008 and December 2008. Results: In total, 876 physicians participated in the study. Most physicians in all countries, except Japan, frequently used international guidelines for the care of GERD patients, whereas approximately half of Japanese physicians did not use such guidelines. GERD was common among many patients, but Barrett's esophagus, particularly the long-segmental type, was rare. The incidence of esophageal cancer, particularly adenocarcinoma, was high in China, but low in other countries. Most physicians diagnosed GERD based on symptoms, followed by endoscopy in Japan and Korea, or in other countries, by the proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) test. Heartburn was recognized as the chief complaint in all countries except Korea. Most physicians in all countries used PPI as the first-line of treatment for GERD. Increasing the PPI dose was the treatment of choice for PPI-refractory erosive esophagitis in Korea, the Philippines, and Thailand. In contrast, in other countries, physicians used a combination of PPI and other drugs to treat PPI-refractory erosive esophagitis. Prescription of antidepressant drugs increased for PPI-refractory nonerosive reflux disease compared with PPI-refractory erosive esophagitis. Conclusion: The findings in the present survey are useful to understand the current epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of GERD in East Asian countries.
- Barrett's esophagus
- Esophageal adenocarcinoma
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Nonerosive reflux disease
- Proton-pump inhibitor