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Korean J Gastrointest Motil. 2001 Nov;7(2):161-167. Korean. Original Article.
Jung SA , Jung HY , Kim KR , Min YI .
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Korea.
Health Promotion Center, Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, Ewha Womans University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

BACKGROUNDS/AIMS: The prevalence of reflux esophagitis has been considered to be low in Korea, but recent studies suggested that it has been increasing. The prevalence also is generally thought to be less in Korea compared to that in western countries. METHODS: Data was collected from the leading medical journals published in Korea dealing with the prevalence of reflux esophagitis for last 10 years between 1990 and 1999 and annual reports of Health Promotion Center in Asan Medical Center of 1997 to 1999. RESULTS: The prevalence was occupied 1.3% in the early period of 1990's, 5.3% in the middle and 7.2% in the late period in symptomatic group and 2.7%, 3.2% and 5.8% in asymptomatic group. The prevalence was reported 5.4% in 1997, 5.3% in 1998 and 7.0% in 1999 in asymptomatic group of annual report of Health Promotion Center in Asan Medical Center. Associated conditions in reflux esophagitis were hiatal hernia, alcohol consumption, smoking and obesity suggesting as risk factors. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of reflux esophagitis in Korea has increased in last 10 years of 1990's but is still lower than that in the western countries. Continuous increase in the prevalence of reflux esophagitis in Korea is predictable and it leads to a greater concern for accurate diagnosis and rapid treatment of symptoms.

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