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J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2010 Feb;25(2):309-13. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2009.06035.x. Epub 2009 Oct 8.

Prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease in patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Ege Reflux Study Group, Ege University, Izmir, Turkey.



It is speculated that the prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) might increase with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The aim of the present study was to evaluate the prevalence of GERD in patients with asthma and COPD in an area representative of developing countries.


A validated GERD questionnaire was conducted face-to-face with 308 consecutive asthma (240 women) and 133 COPD (35 women) patients in the tertiary referral pulmonary outpatient clinic, and 694 controls from the research area. Detailed histories of patients and pulmonary function tests were also recorded.


The prevalence of GERD (heartburn/regurgitation once a week or more) was 25.4%, 17.0%, 19.4% and occasional symptoms (less than weekly) were 21.2%, 16.3% and 27.0% of patients with asthma, COPD and controls, respectively. The prevalence was higher in the asthma group compared with the controls and the COPD group. No significant difference was found between the COPD group and the controls. Heartburn started following pulmonary disease in 24.1% of the asthma group, and 26.4% of the COPD group. The majority of additional symptoms were significantly higher in asthmatics compared with the controls. No difference was found in the consumption of pulmonary medications in asthmatic patients in groups with different symptom frequency. Heartburn was increased 13.8% by the consumption of inhaler medications.


These results implicate that the prevalence of GERD in asthma and COPD are lower than in published reports in a tertiary referral center. These differences might be related to the characteristics of developing countries, increased consumption of powerful medications in GERD and pulmonary diseases, or methodological flaws in earlier studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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