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J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2007 May;22(5):639-44.

Long-term gastroesophageal reflux disease therapy improves reflux symptoms in elderly patients: five-year prospective study in community medicine.

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1
Department of General Internal Medicine, Prefectural Hiroshima Hospital, Hiroshima, Japan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) impairs the patient's quality of life (QOL), but the effect of long-term maintenance therapy in elderly patients is unknown.

METHODS:

We conducted a long-term prospective study. Forty-four GERD patients (11 males; mean age 74 years; QUEST score of at least 6 points) were enrolled in this study. Step-down therapy was selected (proton-pump inhibitor [PPI], histamine-2 receptor antagonist and prokinetic agents for 1 month, respectively). Optimal medication for each patient was continued for 5 years. The efficacy, safety of treatment and reflux symptoms were analyzed. The profiles of the patients who had to continue PPI maintenance therapy were also analyzed.

RESULTS:

Reflux symptoms were reduced by the PPI based step-down therapy (baseline 13.8 times/month, after 3.2 times/month, P < 0.001). Reflux symptoms improved in 34 patients (77%). None of the 44 patients had to cease treatment because of side-effects and none experienced any complications during the 5-year period. The prevalence of Helicobacter pylori (Hp) infection in the PPI group (29%, 4/14) was significantly lower (P < 0.01) than in the other treatment group (72%, 21/29). The serum pepsinogen I/II ratio in the PPI treatment group (5.7 +/- 0.5) was significantly higher (P < 0.01) than in the others (4.0 +/- 0.3). The predictive factors for PPI maintenance therapy were Hp-negative status and serum pepsinogen I/II ratio >6.0 (odds ratio 12.0, 95% confidence interval 2.7-54.2).

CONCLUSIONS:

Long-term medication for GERD selected on the basis of the patient's profile (i.e. Hp status and gastric atrophy) improved reflux symptoms.

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