Investigation of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease among Medical Students

Nasim Gholinejad, Azam Teimouri



Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common gastrointestinal complaint in the adult population worldwide; nevertheless, few studies have assessed this disorder among medical students. The stress, lifestyle, and burdensome educational curriculum exposes this particular population to GERD. To the best of our knowledge, there was no information about the frequency of GERD in Iranian medical students. We aimed to assess the prevalence of GERD as well as its risk factors among the medical students.

Materials and Methods:

In this cross-sectional study, the symptoms of GERD were investigated among 290 medical students using the frequency scale for the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux (FSSG) at Isfahan University of Medical Sciences during 2018-2019. Additional information, including age, sex, body mass index (BMI), and studying grade, were entered in the checklist.


 Among the studied population, 104 (36.55%) students had GERD. Heartburn was associated with studying grade (p =0.022) and BMI (p <0.001). Esophageal regurgitation was related to BMI only (p<0.001). The logistic regression evaluations revealed overweight (p <0.001; OR:14.49; 95%CI: 7.29-28.81), obesity (p <0.001; OR:14.16; 95%CI: 4.38-45.74), studying the physiopathology course (p <0.001; OR:5.05; 95%CI: 2.07-12.30) and being in the stagership period (p =0.007; OR:3.50; 95%CI: 1.41-8.64) were independent predictors of heartburn, while overweight (p <0.001; OR:8.33; 95%CI: 4.26-16.28), obesity (p <0.001; OR:54.87; 95%CI: 11.31-266.10) and being in the stagership period (p =0.024; OR:2.89; 95%CI: 0.87-6.22)  were the predictors for esophageal regurgitation.


Based on this study, GERD was prevalent among the medical students, and factors, including BMI and studying grade, were predictors of its incidence.


Gastroesophageal reflux disease; Risk factors; Prevalence; Medical students

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