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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2013, Article ID 936792, 7 pages
Research Article

Lifestyle Characteristics and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: A Population-Based Study in Albania

1Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Tirana University, Tirana, Albania
2Service of Gastro-Hepatology, Mother Theresa University Hospital Center, Rr. “Dibrës”, No. 371, Tirana, Albania
3Department of International Health, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands

Received 15 December 2012; Accepted 25 January 2013

Academic Editor: P. Marco Fisichella

Copyright © 2013 Lulzim Çela et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aim. We aimed to assess the prevalence and lifestyle correlates of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in the adult population of Albania, a Mediterranean country in Southeast Europe which has experienced major behavioral changes in the past two decades. Methods. A cross-sectional study, conducted in 2012, included a population-representative sample of 845 individuals (≥18 years) residing in Tirana (345 men, mean age: ; 500 women, mean age: ; response rate: 84.5%). Assessment of GERD was based on Montreal definition. Covariates included socioeconomic characteristics, lifestyle factors, and body mass index. Logistic regression was used to assess the association of socioeconomic characteristics and lifestyle factors with GERD. Results. The overall prevalence of GERD was 11.9%. There were no significant sex differences, but a higher prevalence among the older participants. In fully adjusted models, there was a positive relationship of GERD with smoking, physical inactivity, fried food consumption, and obesity, but not so for alcohol intake and meat consumption. Conclusion. We obtained important evidence on the prevalence and lifestyle correlates of GERD in a Western Balkans' country. Smoking, physical inactivity, and obesity were strong “predictors” of GERD in this population. Findings from this study should be replicated in prospective studies in Albania and other transitional settings.