Gastroesophageal reflux disease and its related factors among women of reproductive age: Korea Nurses’ Health Study

Oksoo Kim, Hee Jung Jang, Sue Kim, Hea Young Lee, Eunyoung Cho, Jung Eun Lee, Heeja Jung, Jiyoung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Recently, the number of patients diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) has increased in Korea. Risk factors of GERD include age, sex, medication use, lack of physical exercise, increased psychological stress, low or high body mass index (BMI), unhealthy eating habits, increased alcohol consumption, and cigarette smoking. However, few studies examined the major factors affecting GERD in women of childbearing age. Therefore, this study assessed the risk factors of GERD among 20,613 female nurses of reproductive age using data from the Korea Nurses’ Health Study. Methods: Participants were recruited from July 2013 to November 2014. They provided their history of GERD 1 year prior to data collection, along with information on their demographic characteristics, health-related behaviors, diet, medical history, and physical and psychological factors. Of the total sample, 1184 individuals with GERD diagnosed in the year prior to the study were identified. Propensity score matching was used for analysis. Results: Cigarette smoking, increased alcohol consumption, low or high BMI, depression, and increased psychosocial stress were associated with the prevalence of GERD among Korean young women. Multivariate ordinal logistic regression analysis revealed significant positive relationships between GERD and being a former smoker; having a low (< 18.5 kg/m2) or high BMI (> 23 kg/m2); and having mild, moderate, moderately severe, and severe depression. Conclusions: Smoking, BMI, and depression were associated with GERD. To reduce this risk among female nurses, intervention strategies are required to help nurses maintain a normal weight and manage their depression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1133
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 21 Sep 2018

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© 2018 The Author(s).


  • Body mass index
  • Depression
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Nurses
  • Reproductive age


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