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World J Gastroenterol. 2009 Apr 14;15(14):1764-8.

Prevalence of linked angina and gastroesophageal reflux disease in general practice.

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Department of General Medicine and Emergency Care, Toho University School of Medicine, Omori Hospital, 6-11-1 Omori-Nishi, Ota-Ku, Tokyo, Japan.



To evaluate the association between gastroesophageal reflux diseases (GERD) and coronary heart diseases.


One thousand nine hundred and seventy consecutive patients who attended our hospital were enrolled. All of the patients who first attend our hospital were asked to respond to the F-scale questionnaire regardless of their chief complaints. All patients had a careful history taken, and resting echocardiography (ECG) was performed by physicians if the diagnostic necessity arose. Patients with ECG signs of coronary artery ischemia were defined as ST-segment depression based on the Minnesota code.


Among 712 patients (36%) with GERD, ECG was performed in 171 (24%), and ischemic changes were detected in eight (5%). Four (50%) of these patients with abnormal findings upon ECG had no chest symptoms such as chest pain, chest oppression, or palpitations. These patients (0.6%; 4/712) were thought to have non-GERD heartburn, which may be related to ischemic heart disease. Of 281 patients who underwent ECG and did not have GERD symptoms, 20 (7%) had abnormal findings upon ECG. In patients with GERD symptoms and ECG signs of coronary artery ischemia, the prevalence of linked angina was considered to be 0.4% (8/1970 patients).


The present study suggested that ischemic heart disease might be found although a patient was referred to the hospital with a complaint of GERD symptoms. Physicians have to be concerned about missing clinically important coronary artery disease while evaluating patients for GERD symptoms.

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