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Heartburn is an Epidemic of Global Proportions 

Throughout the globe, scientist also known as epidemiologists have taken on the condition of heartburn and are on a mission to completely understand it. They have studied individual all around the world looking for patterns and breaking things down by age groups, sex groups, and different cultures. This is how they were able to determine that the common American diet was nowhere near as beneficial as the Mediterranean diet which really worked for a healthy heart. This also helped them figure out a number of factors about where reflux occurs, who develops it and how often it happens. They look at many things such as if the person smokes, their exercise habits, diet, stress levels and many others.

They found out that heartburn does not discriminate and there is very little difference between the gender and age of sufferers, with the exception of pregnant women who tend to have it worst. The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) sets the numbers at around 60 million adults who experience GERD symptoms at least once a month, and 25 million that have pain daily due to the illness. It is also said that around 50 million of Americans experience some sort of nighttime symptoms which would make it roughly 25 percent of the total population.

In other western countries the figures are very similar and Sweden for example also shows that 25 percent of the population has these symptoms. A British study for example had its numbers at around 31 percent of the total population, and a review of around fifty studies from such countries averaged the numbers to about 10 percent. This means that even though the disease is very common, there are some nations that are better off since they are really bringing these averages down. In less developed countries the numbers are not yet available but due to them also treating for heartburn we can deduct that it is also prevalent.

There are some difference though and studies show that adults over fifty are more likely to develop the condition than younger adults. Other than pregnant women, it is the men that have far more cases that develop chronic heartburn and eophagitis. This could be due to the stress levels of supporting the family and as more women have careers the numbers could change. Also black men and women have twice the chance of developing serious cases of reflux.