Now you may ask, does gastroesophageal reflux disease cause any other significant issues or is it associated with other diseases? Now we mentioned the fact that cigarette smoking, which can be associated with chronic lung disease, obviously can potentiate acid reflux disease. But there’s a particular condition called Barrett’s esophagus. This is a condition which is a precancerous condition, and it’s intimately associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease. Now, Barrett’s Esophagus is a relatively rare condition, but we’ve noticed that the incidence of Barrett’s esophagus has increased significantly over the last 20 to 30 years. We’ve also noted that in Caucasian males, especially those who are at least 30 years of age, and who have had gastroesophageal reflux disease for at least three years, the likelihood of them develop Barrett’s esophagus increases significantly. So if a patient has gastroesophageal reflux disease, the significant heartburn that occurs multiple times a week, and that they pretty much need to take antacid medications quite frequently in order to keep their reflux under control. And this has been going on for three years. Those individuals, all things being equal, are primary candidates for a screening upper endoscopy to see if they have Barrett’s esophagus.
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