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Diabetes Metab J. 2016 Aug;40(4):297-307. doi: 10.4093/dmj.2016.40.4.297. Epub 2016 Jun 8.

Prevalence and Risk Factors of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Busan St. Mary's Hospital, Busan, Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, Konyang University College of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, Busan St. Mary's Hospital, Busan, Korea.



Gastrointestinal symptoms are common in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in Korea appears to be increasing. Some studies have shown that T2DM is a risk factor for symptomatic GERD. However, this possibility is still debated, and the pathogenesis of GERD in T2DM is not yet fully understood. The aim of this study was to analyze the prevalence and risk factors (including autonomic neuropathy) of GERD in patients with T2DM.


This cross-sectional case-control study enrolled T2DM patients (n=258) and healthy controls (n=184). All participants underwent physical examinations and laboratory tests. We evaluated medical records and long-term diabetes complications, including peripheral and autonomic neuropathy in patients with T2DM. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy was performed in all patients. The Los Angeles (LA) classification was used to grade GERD. GERD was defined as LA grade A (or higher) or minimal change with GERD symptoms. GERD symptoms were examined using a frequency scale. Data were expressed as mean┬▒standard error. Independent t-tests or chi-square tests were used to make comparisons between groups.


The prevalence of GERD (32.6% vs. 35.9%, P=0.266) and GERD symptoms (58.8% vs. 59.2%, P=0.503) was not significantly different between T2DM patients and controls. We found no significant differences between T2DM patients with GERD and T2DM patients without GERD with respect to diabetic complications, including autonomic neuropathy, peripheral neuropathy, duration of DM, and glucose control.


The prevalence of GERD in patients with T2DM showed no difference from that of controls. GERD was also not associated with peripheral and cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy, age, or duration of DM in patients with T2DM.


Diabetes mellitus; Diabetic neuropathy; Gastroesophageal reflux

Conflict of interest statement

No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

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