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Senior Health Week: Acid Reflux - Ulcers
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Acid Reflux - Ulcer News:

19 Million Cases of Gastroesophageal Reflux Per Year Reported in United States

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is the second most prevalent of all gastrointestinal and liver conditions with 19 million cases per year, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina.

Non-food-borne gastroenteritis was number one with 135 million cases and irritable bowel syndrome was third with 15 million cases per year.

Although the economic burden of the GI and liver diseases is considerable, little information has been available on their prevalence, death rate and cost.

Using data from publicly available and proprietary national databases, researchers attempted to determine the prevalence and costs for 17 GI and liver diseases. These costs were compared with National Institutes of Health research expenses for selected GI and liver diseases.

In their study published in the journal Gastroenterology, investigators report that the disease with the highest annual direct costs in the United States was GERD ($9.3 billion), followed by gallbladder disease (($5.8 billion), colorectal cancer ($4.8 billion) and peptic ulcer disease ($3.1 billion).

"GI and liver diseases exact heavy economic and social costs in the United States," concluded the researchers. "Understanding the prevalence and costs of these diseases is important to help set priorities to reduce the burden of illness."

Source: Medical Week staff, week of May 19, 2002


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