Who Gets GERD

Both men and women suffer from GERD, although the age of onset is apparently gender-related. A 1999 study of 2,000 chronic heartburn sufferer revealed that women reported the onset of heartburn at an old age than men. Many athletes suffer from GERD, particularly weight lifters and runners. Infants and children may also experience severe chronic heartburn, and too often the illness goes untreated when a child suffers.

A study identified different perceived causes of severe heartburn for men and women. Women were 70 percent more likely to identify stress within the family as a key precipitant to heartburn. Men, on the other hand, were 24 percent more likel to view long hours at work as the problem and 50 percent more likely to view business travel as the cause.

Researchers also found a male/female difference in dietary paterns that probably affected their heartburn. Men were 64 percent more likely to report alcohol as a precursor to their heartburn. Women, on the other hand, reported that they had a greater problem with eating foods that can induce heartburn, such ass chocolate, fatty foods, and tomatoes.

Heavy antacid users are also more likely to live in suburbia than in a big city. Married adults with children tend to be bigger purchasers of heartburn products than single childless individuals.