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Hernia - hiatal
Hiatal hernia is a condition in which part of the stomach sticks upward into the chest, through an opening in the diaphragm. The diaphragm is the sheet of muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen. It is used in breathing.
The cause is unknown, but hiatal hernias may be due to a weakening of the supporting tissue. Increasing age, obesity, and smoking are known risk factors in adults.
Children with this condition are usually born with it (congenital). It often occurs with gastroesophageal reflux in infants.
Hiatal hernias are very common, especially in people over 50 years old. This condition may cause reflux (backflow) of gastric acid from the stomach into the esophagus.
Richter JE, Friedenberg FK. Gastroesophageal reflux disease. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 43.
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