Dr. med., Dipl.Ing.Klaus Jiirgen Mielke, Hanover
In recent years a drastic increase in reflux disease with the dominant symptom of heartburn has been noted among the populations of the industrialised nations. The prevalence of this set of symptoms has increased tenfold over the course of 3 decades and shows no signs of abating. The often intense pain of a reflux action has a considerable effect on quality of life and can readily be compared to the high levels of pain encountered with the angina pectoris symptoms of coronary heat disease. Studies relating to reflux disease demonstrate that every second or third person in Germany suffers from heartburn occasionally or often. The consensus among gastroenterologists is that reflux disease is present if heartburn occurs on two or more days per week.
Apart from the painful symptoms, chronic reflux disease has a far more dangerous aspect: the development of an adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus based on a cylindrical epitheliu...