Source: The Mercury, 16 October, 1996, p.3
ONE in three Australians suf- fers heartburn or indigestion, with most blaming spicy or greasy food. A survey endorsed by The Gut Foundation found that Australia has one of the worst heartburn problems in the world, with men and older people hardest hit. Gastro-enterologist Jack Hansky said: "I think it's a disease of our Western world. "We eat too much, drink too much alcohol, and tend to be overweight." Associate Professor Han- sky, of Monash University, is a councillor of The Gut Foun- dation, which is concerned about public health impli- cations of an ageing popu- lation which suffers regular indigestion. In a report called The Fire Inside to be released today, the foundation estimates the annual cost of dyspepsia at $400 million, including medi- cation and loss of earnings. A survey of 1200 people found people blamed their dyspepsia on the food they ate, including spicy foods (51%), greasy or rich food (46%) and over-eating (37%). It also found that 41% of men reported dyspepsia every four to six months, among women it was 33%. The survey found that 60% of sufferers used antacids, 19% used prescription medi- cations and 18% did nothing. Antacids neutralised acid secreted by the stomach but other agents were available to attack the source of the prob- lem, Professor Hansky said. AAP
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