The guts of it

December 2009



Volume 38, No.12, December 2009 Pages 955-955

Graeme C Miller

Janice Charles

Between April 2006 and March 2008 in the BEACH (Bettering the Evaluation and Care of Health) program, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease was managed by general practitioners at a rate of 2.2 per 100 encounters, which extrapolates to about 2.3 million times per year nationally.

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is a growing problem in the Australian population. Between 1998–2000 and 2006–2008, there was a 45% increase in the management rate of GORD in general practice, from 1.5 to 2.2 per 100 encounters. This change was reflected in all age groups (from 15 years) and in both genders. There was also a significant increase of 46% in the rate of new diagnoses of GORD over that period. A number of BEACH substudies examining GORD diagnosed at the current or previous encounter, reported a prevalence of 15–20% among patients attending general practice.

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