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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2003 May 15;17(10):1309-17.

The burden of illness of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease: impact on work productivity.

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Zynx Health, Inc., a subsidiary of Cerner Corporation, Los Angeles, CA 90212, USA.



The impact of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease on work productivity has become increasingly important, as the symptoms of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease affect individuals in their productive years of life.


To assess the impact of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease on reduced work productivity and to identify the predictors of reduced productivity.


A sample of employed individuals reporting chronic heartburn was selected from US household mail survey respondents. Heartburn severity and frequency were recorded using a diary, and work productivity was assessed using the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire for Patients with Symptoms of Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease. Predictors of reduced productivity were evaluated.


Over 30% of heartburn sufferers reported reduced productivity. Individuals with symptoms of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (n = 1003) reported 6.0% reduced productivity attributable to symptoms. Over 48% of respondents with severe symptoms reported reduced productivity, compared with 40% and 12% of respondents with moderate and mild symptoms, respectively. Using logistic regression, severity, a younger age and nocturnal symptoms were associated with increased odds of reduced productivity. In those reporting nocturnal heartburn, medication use and sleep interference increased the odds of reduced productivity.


Reduced work productivity is seen in a large proportion of subjects on prescription medication for gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. Symptom severity and nocturnal heartburn are significantly associated with reduced work productivity, particularly when nocturnal heartburn interferes with sleep.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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