'It's scary one in 10 have this at least once every week'
Professor Janusz Jankowski, a consultant gastroenterologist at Leicester's hospitals, is an expert in acid reflux and the more serious conditions known as Barrett's Oesophagus and oesophageal cancer.
He said: "Acid reflux, indigestion, heartburn – they are caused when acid from the stomach slops back up into the oesophagus.
"It is quite frightening that about 30 per cent of people will experience it and about one in 10 people experience it at least once a week.
"By and large, it affects middle-aged and older individuals and usually reflects eating habits such as eating a large meal late at night.
"People who eat a lot of fatty foods are also more liable to suffer.
"Exercise is also key. Recent research indicates that even being a little overweight isn't acceptable."
A lot of people with acid reflux can diagnose and control their condition with over-the-counter medications such as Gaviscon, which can help neutralise the acid.
However, Prof Jankowski said about a third of sufferers would need to get help from their GP.
The danger of the condition is that, in a small number of cases, it can lead to Barrett's Oesophagus, when cells change and can develop in oesophageal cancer.
The gastroenterology department at Leicester's hospitals is one of the leading centres in the country for research into the conditions. Prof Janowski is involved in a trial looking at whether giving aspirin and a drug called esomeprazole is a way of preventing cancer of the food pipe (oesophagus).
He said: "The trial has involved 2,500 people nationally with about 400 people from Leicestershire. We expect the interim results next year.
"A second study, involving 8,000 patients with about 900 from Leicestershire, is looking at the genetics of Barrett's oesophagus."