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“Dropping Acid” Blog

The Prevalence of Acid Reflux in America

THE TIMES SQUARE STUDY (PRELIMINARY RESULTS)

Until now, the prevalence of acid reflux was unknown. In addition, it is clear that not all refluxers have classic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Many people have symptoms and manifestations of reflux without having heartburn or indigestion, including hoarseness, post-nasal drip, sinus, chronic cough, difficulty swallowing, a sensation of a lump in the throat, and sore throat. This latter group has laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), sometimes called silent reflux.

We interviewed 656 U.S. citizens in Times Square in New York City, who were in line waiting to buy discount theater tickets (at TKTS). Thus, we obtained a random sample of respondents from all over the nation. The data showed that 40%  had reflux. Twenty-two percent (22%) had classic GERD, and another 18% had silent reflux (aka laryngopharyngeal reflux, LPR).  One of the biggest surprises of this study was that 37% of people in the 20-30 year-old age group had acid reflux disease.

Click here to see the entire study abstract (printable PDF version)