Study: GERD sufferers don't discuss symptoms with doctors

BETHESDA, Md. — Most patients that suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease or persistent heartburn symptoms rarely speak with a healthcare provider about their condition, according to a new study conducted on behalf of the American Gastroenterological Association, in partnership with drug maker Takeda.

The "Defining and Identifying Gaps in Communication between GERD and/or Heartburn Sufferers and Physicians" study surveyed 1,004 U.S. adults who identified themselves as having GERD and/or frequent and persistent heartburn. Among the respondents, 39% and 19%, respectively, disclosed they “occasionally” or “never” discuss their symptoms with a healthcare provider.

Other findings included:

  • One-third (34%) of sufferers reported waiting 12 months or more after first experiencing symptoms to visit their healthcare provider;

  • Forty percent of respondents have not discussed symptoms with their HCP in the past 12 months; and

  • Approximately 1-in-5 sufferers does not discuss his or her symptoms until the end of the appointment when the doctor is leaving or only if the doctor asks.

In response to this, the American Gastroenterological Association and Takeda have teamed up to develop a new tool to help facilitate patient-healthcare provider communication about GERD symptoms. This new tool, and other information about GERD, is available at Gastro.org/GERDtracker.

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