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Live from the GI Conference: Increase in GERD Hospitalizations

The North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) brings together pediatric gastroenterologists from around the country and the world. As I attend the conference this week, I will bring you the latest information on pediatric Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) of interest to parents of infants, children and teens with GERD.

A study from Emory University looked at hospitalization rates between 1995-2006 for infants and children with a diagnosis of GERD using the Pediatric Hospital Information Survey Database. During the 11 year period, hospitalization with a discharge diagnosis of GERD increased form 3.5% to 4.3%. There was a corresponding increase in cost as well. Infants less than one year accounted for many of the hospitalizations with respiratory conditions a primary complication.

Fundoplication surgery for GERD increased from 1995 to 1999 and then decreased from 2002-2006. The researcher I spoke with indicated that the availability of medications to treat GERD, especially the increase in medications approved for children one year and up may have impacted the decrease in surgery. However, more research is needed.

An alarming trend is an increase in the incidence of Barrett's Esophagus in children. Barrett's Esophagus is considered to be rare in children and is associated with adult GERD. Certainly this increase in Barrett's Esophagus will be the subject of further analysis and review by researchers


Check with your
doctor first!