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Curr Med Res Opin. 2005 Apr;21(4):495-502.

Burden of illness in Italian patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.

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  • 1Azienda Ospedaliera Careggi UO di Gastroenterologia, Florence, Italy. Pacinif@ao-careggi.toscana.it



Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), characterized by frequent episodes of heartburn, imposes considerable burdens on both patients and health services. In addition to both patients and health services. In addition to gastrointestinal symptoms, GORD may precipitate a variety of extra-oesophageal complications, such as asthma and chest pain, which can significantly impair patients' quality of life. This paper aims to describe the impact of heartburn on patients' health-related quality of life (HRQL) in Italy.


Consecutive patients from general practices and gastroenterology clinics who were experiencing heartburn were invited to complete a selection of standardized patient-reported outcomes instruments, including Italian translations of the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale (GSRS), Short-Form 36 (SF-36), Quality of Life in Reflux and Dyspepsia questionnaire (QOLRAD) and Hospital Anxiety and Depression (HAD) scale. Frequency and severity of heartburn in the preceding week were recorded.


Assessments were completed by 152 patients (mean age, 47 years), of whom 60% were female. Sixty-one per cent had moderate symptoms and 74% had symptoms on three or more days in the previous week. Patients were most bothered by reflux, abdominal pain and indigestion. As a result of their symptoms, patients experienced impaired vitality, sleep disturbance and other alimentary problems. This led to impaired HRQL across all but one SF-36 domain. According to the HAD scale, 21% of patients were depressed and 19% were anxious.


GORD substantially impairs many aspects of HRQL, including sleep, vitality and emotional health.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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