Gastro-oesophageal reflux disorders among Nepalese residing in Southeast Asia.

Chong VH, Padam BC, Hermanta RG, Anand J.

Med J Malaysia. 2013 Jun;68(3):234-8.



INTRODUCTION: Gastro-oesophageal reflux disorders (GORD) are common in Western countries and has been reported to be increasing in the East. This study assessed the prevalence of GORD among the Nepalese residing in the Brunei Darussalam.

METHODS: Nepalese residing in two areas were invited to participate in this cross sectional questionnaire study. GORD was considered to be present if there was any heartburn, regurgitation or both experienced at least monthly that were associated with impairment of quality of life measures. Overall, 304 out of 320 (female 68.4%) with completed questionnaire were available for analysis.

RESULTS: Overall 45.1% had reported symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux: heartburn and regurgitation (21.4%), heartburn alone (9.2%) and regurgitations alone (14.5%). However, only 7.2% had GORD. GORD was significantly more common among women (p=0.005), being shorter in height (p=0.013), those with co morbid conditions (p=0.023) and previously had endoscopy (p=0.006). There were no difference in age, duration of residence, body mass index (kg/m2), alcohol intake, tobacco and supplements use (all p>0.05). GORD was also significantly associated with the presence of psychosomatic symptoms such as backache, depression, fatigue, headache and insomnia (all p<0.05). Subjects with GORD also experienced significantly more other upper gastrointestinal complaints such as nausea, vomiting, early satiety, post-prandial fullness, and abdominal bloating (all p<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of GORD among Nepalese residing in Brunei Darussalam was 7.2%. Certain subjects' profiles were associated with GORD and patients with GORD were likely to experience more psychosomatic and other gastrointestinal symptoms.


Correspondence: Chong VH, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, RIPAS Hospital, Bandar Seri Begawan BA 1710, Brunei Darussalam.