Will acid reflux be the new "hot" medical condition for 2012? Maybe. The year closed with a couple of new studies pointing to acid reflux on the rise:
Eivind Ness-Jensen, a researcher at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, studied 30,000 Norwegians over a decade and found a 47% increase in people reporting acid reflux symptoms between 1995-7 and 2006-9. Women are more likely sufferers (and more likely to have it clear up on its own). The study was published in the December 2011 online issue of Gut.
Another study looking at increased over-the-counter acid reflux medication sales in New York City suggests a link between the high unemployment rate and increased use of heartburn/reflux medicine.
It is interesting that many studies point to obesity or smoking as triggers for reflux. Both can also be the results of stress -- another GERD trigger.