BETHESDA, Md., March 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- According to findings from the new nationwide DISCUSS (Defining and Identifying GapS in CommUnication between GERD and/or Heartburn Sufferers and PhysicianS) Survey, many people surveyed report that their gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and/or persistent heartburn symptoms significantly disrupt their lives. Additionally, more than half say that currently they "occasionally" (39 percent) or "never" (19 percent) discuss GERD and/or heartburn symptoms with a health care provider (HCP). The survey was released today by the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) in partnership with Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc. (Takeda).
The DISCUSS Survey, fielded by Braun Research, Inc., surveyed 1,004 American adults who identified themselves as having GERD, also known as acid reflux disease, and/or frequent and persistent heartburn and who said they experience GERD and/or heartburn symptoms two or more times per week when not treating the condition ("sufferers"). Approximately three out of four sufferers (77 percent) describe their GERD and/or heartburn symptoms as moderate to severe, and one-third (33 percent) have had to cancel social activities or leave a social event early because of their symptoms. Also, GERD and/or heartburn symptoms have caused 31 percent of respondents to limit their physical activity, with approximately two-thirds (205/309) of those who report limits on physical activity being women. Currently, nearly one in five sufferers never discusses symptoms with an HCP. These findings highlight the importance of active, ongoing conversations about the symptoms and triggers of GERD and/or heartburn between sufferers and HCPs and suggest that resources to help open and improve the lines of communications should be made available.
GERD is a chronic condition that affects nearly 19 million Americans and is often characterized by pers