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Typical gastroesophageal reflux disease in the general population in Cotonou: Therapeutic itineraries, beliefs and associated dietary factors

Gastroenterology & Hepatology: Open Access
Comlan N’déhougbea Martin Sokpon,1 Aboudou Raimi Kpossou,1 Colette Azandjèmè,2 Sewado Aurel Chavelin Gnanhoui,1 Koffi RodolpheVignon,1 Jean Séhonou1

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Background:Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a public health problem in the adult population in the West. In Africa, few studies have been published on this condition. This study aimed to describe the therapeutic itineraries of patients suffering from typical GERD and to identify the beliefs and dietary factors associated within Cotonou.

Patients and methods:This was a cross-sectional descriptive and analytical prospective collection study that took place over a period of 1 month (in June 2018). We included 728 individuals aged 15years or older who had given their consent for the study.

Results:The mean age of the subjects was 31.9 ± 13.2years. It was predominantly male (379 or 52.1%), with a sex ratio of 1.08. Out of 255 people with typical GERD, only 32 people (12.5%) had sought medical advice. The agents consulted were dominated by general practitioners (53.1%), followed in descending order by nurses (28.1%), traditional therapists and gastroenterologist specialists (9.4%). Out of 56 patients who received treatment, 26(46.4%) had used self-medication. In terms of beliefs, typical GERD was predominantly perceived as a natural disease (96.9%) and as a curse in 3.1% of cases. Dietary factors associated with GERD were: consumption of alcoholic beverages (p=0.03), coffee (p<0.001), fatty food intake (p<0.001), chocolate intake (p=0.02), and soft drink intake (p=0.04). Other dietary factors such as spice intake (0.08), and tobacco intake (p=0.81) were not associated with GERD.

Conclusion:The majority of people with typical GERD in our series did not seek medical advice. Self-medication was frequent when treatment was provided. Typical GERD would be associated with consumption of alcoholic beverages, coffee, fatty meals, chocolate and soft drinks.


typical GERD, therapeutic itinerary, dietary factors, cotonou