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Saudi J Gastroenterol. 2008 Apr;14(2):53-7. doi: 10.4103/1319-3767.39618.

Correlation of gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms with body mass index.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Lahore Medical and Dental College, Lahore, Pakistan. shamail@doctor.com



To find a correlation between symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and body mass index (BMI).


A total of 603 patients who presented at Ghurki Trust Teaching Hospital and Surgimed Hospital Lahore with symptoms of GERD, were included and interviewed according to a validated GERD questionnaire. It included questions regarding GERD symptoms and their severity/frequency. Symptoms were defined: "frequent" if occurred daily; "occasional," if weekly; and "severe," if they were sufficiently intense to change lifestyle. Height and weight were also recorded and their BMI calculated. We used logistic regression analysis was performed to assess the association between the presence of each specific GI symptom and BMI. The odds ratios (OR) for a given specific symptom and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were computed from the coefficients in logistic regression models.


The prevalence of obesity was 25.3%, while 38.1% were overweight. There was an increase in reporting of GI symptoms in obese individuals compared to those with normal BMI who were taken as reference group. Frequent nausea, vomiting, early satiety, epigastric pain, heart burn, regurgitation, postprandial fullness, and dysphagia were present in 10.4, 5.6, 8.9, 17.2, 10.2, 22.1, 23.5, and 21.7%, respectively, of obese subjects compared to 7.9, 1.2, 6.5, 3.5, 4.4, 11.4, 17.1, and 16.6% of normal BMI subjects. BMI showed a positive relationship with frequent vomiting (P = 0.02), epigastric pain (P = 0.03), regurgitation of food (P = 0.02), heart burn (P = 0.002), and postprandial fullness (0.01).


The majority of GERD symptoms have a greater likelihood of occurring with increasing BMI.


Body mass index; gastroesophageal reflux disease; heartburn; obesity

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