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J Clin Gastroenterol. 2009 May-Jun;43(5):410-3. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0b013e3181705ce9.

Increased prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux symptoms in obese children evaluated in an academic medical center.

Author information

1
Pediatric Gastroenterology, FMP 408, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar St, New Haven, CT 06520, USA. dinesh.pashankar@yale.edu

Abstract

GOALS:

To test the hypothesis that obese children are at higher risk of having gastroesophageal reflux symptoms compared with nonobese children.

STUDY:

In this prospective study, 236 obese children (age: 7 to 16 y) were interviewed using a standard questionnaire for reflux symptoms and a reflux symptom score was calculated. Obesity was defined as body mass index (BMI) greater than 95th percentile for age and sex. One hundred and one age-matched and sex-matched children with BMI between 5th and 95th percentile served as controls. Demographic data were collected in all children. We compared prevalence rates of a reflux symptom score and other symptoms between the 2 groups.

RESULTS:

A prevalence rate of a positive reflux symptom score (13.1%) was significantly higher in obese children than in the control group (2%) (odds ratio: 7.3, 95% CI: 1.7-31). Obesity remained as the only significant predictor for a positive reflux symptom score after controlling for other variables such as age, sex, race, and caffeine exposure (adjusted odds ratio: 7.4, 95% CI: 1.7-32.5). A positive reflux symptom score increased significantly from 2% in the control group to 11.7% in 196 obese children to 20% in 40 severely obese children (with BMI z-score >2.7).

CONCLUSIONS:

Obese children (age: 7 to 16 y) are at higher risk of having reflux symptoms compared with the control group. This risk is independent of age, sex, or race and increases with higher BMI.

PMID:
19098686
DOI:
10.1097/MCG.0b013e3181705ce9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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