How common is heartburn?

Heartburn is one of the most common medical conditions experienced by upwards of 40% of Americans on a monthly basis. Sixty million or more Americans have heartburn once a week. The problem is that this disease seems to be increasing. More than 22% of primary care visits will be for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This is up 46% in the last seven years. There have been many theories offered but no one has been able to conclusively pinpoint why this is happening. But, the reality is that we are facing this condition more and more.
Lawrence S. Friedman, MD
About one-third of Americans have heartburn at least once a month, with 10% experiencing it nearly every day. One survey revealed that 65% of people with heartburn have symptoms both during the day and at night, with 75% of the nighttime heartburn patients saying that the problem keeps them from sleeping, and 40% reporting that nighttime heartburn affects their job performance the following day. This epidemic leads people to spend at least $2 billion a year on over-the-counter antacids alone. Clearly, it's a major problem.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.