GERD Afflicts Caucasians and African Americans Equally

Published Online: Wednesday, September 1, 2004

In the United States, population-based studies indicate that Caucasians are 4 times as likely as African Americans to have esophageal adenocarcinoma. In addition, studies of patients referred for endoscopy showed a preponderance of Caucasians (70%?90%) among patients diagnosed with Barrett's esophagus (BE). Because gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is thought to predispose individuals to BE, which may further develop into esophageal adenocarcinoma, population-based studies have been conducted to examine the prevalence of GERD symptoms in the United States. None of these studies, however, has provided information on possible racial differences in the prevalence of GERD.

In the June 2004 issue of Gastroenterology, Hashem B. El-Serag, MD, and colleagues report the results of a cross-sectional survey and endoscopy study of 496 employees at a Veteran Administration medical center. Results showed that the age-adjusted prevalence of heartburn or regurgitation was not significantly different among African Americans, Caucasians, and other races. African Americans, however, did have a persistently lower risk for esophagitis. The authors conclude that Caucasians and African Americans in the United States have a similarly high prevalence of GERD symptoms; African Americans, however, have a lower prevalence of esophagitis, compared with Caucasians.

Latest Articles
James Schiffer, RPh, associate at Allegaert Berger & Vogel LLC, discusses some tips for pharmacists who are facing a Drug Enforcement Administration audit.
Carlos Aquino, founder and president of PharmaDiversion LLC, talks about the importance of the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) diversion website.
Having trouble getting your hands on FluMist?
Novartis is paying $390 million to settle charges that it paid kickbacks to pharmacies to encourage drug sales.
Latest Issues