Gastro-oesophageal reflux - or repeats to you - is the curse of modern society. It's an uncomfortable and antisocial condition that affects up to 40 per cent of the population.
You might think there's nothing good to be said for it, but researchers have discovered that sufferers are far less likely to get the H. pylori bug, which can cause duodenal ulcers.
The seeming protection of reflux against H. pylori is most marked in the Far East; aside from dietary differences, researchers were at a loss to explain why geography would have a part to play.
Researchers at Durham University based their conclusions on 20 studies. They also discovered that the protection works both ways - if you've got the H. pylori bug, you're less likely to suffer reflux or, if you do, your reflux is unlikely to be so severe.
(Source: British Medical Journal, 2003; 326:737-9).