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Am J Gastroenterol. 2001 Aug;96(8 Suppl):S57-61.

Symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease, perceived productivity, and health-related quality of life.

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AstraZeneca R&D Mölndal, Sweden.



To investigate to what extent patients consulting a general practitioner (GP) because of symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) report impaired health-related quality of life, absence from work, reduced productivity while at work, and reduced daily activities.


A disease specific, self-administered work productivity and activity impairment questionnaire (WPAI-GERD) was distributed together with a GERD-specific quality of life questionnaire (QOLRAD) and a generic questionnaire (SF-36) to a Swedish working population (N = 136) consulting a GP because of current or recent symptoms of heartburn. The severity and frequency of GERD symptoms (heartburn and acid regurgitation) were recorded by the GP.


Among patients with heartburn symptoms, a mean of 2.5 h absence from work per week was reported. Furthermore, productivity while working was reduced by 23% and productivity while doing regular daily activities by 30%. This corresponds to an average of 10.7 h lost from work per patient and week, of which 8.3 h are due to reduced productivity while working (23% reduction times the actual work time). Results from the quality of life questionnaires showed a poor quality of life, especially in patients with moderate to severe heartburn symptoms.


In patients consulting a GP because of GERD, results indicated that symptoms incur a large burden to the patient as well as a considerable cost to society due to absence from work, reduced productivity while working, and reductions of regular daily activities.

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