GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease is a common ailment, so it can be difficult to determine whether having relatives with the disease is a factor in individual cases.
Incidence in childhood
GERD is so prevalent in infancy and childhood, that an estimated 4 in ten will have the condition in their early years, according to Dr. Judith Sondheimer, chief of pediatric gastroenterology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver.
Link to Chromosome 13
In 2000, researchers at Allegheny General Hospital in Pennsylvania identified a genetic link on chromosome 13, but no one has identified a specific gene as of yet in GERD.
Twins Study Results
In 2003, a twins study was done in the United Kingdom that found a substantial genetic factor in GERD cases, further fueling the theory that GERD does have familial links in at least some instances of gastroesophageal reflux disease.
If further research into GERD isolates a particular gene, the results would be better treatment for patients suffering from the disease.