Treatment of newly-diagnosed gastroesophageal reflux disease: a nationwide register-based cohort study

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Objective: The aim of this study was to describe short-term treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in patients registered with a GERD-diagnosis as part of evaluation with endoscopy using national Danish registers. Methods: The study population included all adults undergoing upper gastrointestinal endoscopy in Denmark from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2015, who within 90 days received a diagnosis of GERD. We obtained nationwide data from The National Patient Registry on procedures (endoscopy and anti-reflux surgery) and diagnosis (GERD diagnosis and comorbidity), The Danish National Prescription Registry on the use of anti-reflux medication and ulcerogenic drugs, and The National Civil Registry on death and civil status. The primary outcome was a type of treatment of GERD within two years of primary endoscopy defined as either no treatment, medical treatment alone, surgical treatment alone or both medical and surgical treatment. Results: A total of 36,292 patients were included in the study. Endoscopies were performed without biopsies in 67.5% (n = 24,479) of cases. The majority (66.3%, n = 24,077) was registered as GERD with esophagitis. After initial endoscopy, 10.6% (n = 3862) received no pharmacological or surgical treatment for GERD within two years of follow-up, 87.5% (n = 31,761) received only pharmacological treatment, 0.1% (n = 50) received only surgical treatment and 1.7% (n = 619) received a combination of pharmacological and surgical treatment. Conclusion: Patients referred to investigation with endoscopy and diagnosed with GERD in Denmark are primarily treated with pharmacological anti-reflux treatment within the first two years with PPI being the primary agent. Only a small fraction of patients is treated surgically.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)830-837
Publication statusPublished - 7. Jul 2019



  • GERD
  • anti-reflux surgery
  • epidemiology
  • esophageal disease
  • treatment

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