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28-07-2013 | Gastroenterology | Article

Sleep dysfunction increased in Asian GERD patients


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medwireNews: Sleep dysfunction is common in Korean patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), researchers have found.

They also note that poor sleep quality in these patients may have an impact on the severity of disease and quality of life (QoL).

The findings confirm those previously reported in Western studies, comments the team, led by Nayoung Kim (Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea).

A total of 217 individuals were enrolled in the study, 147 of whom had symptoms of erosive reflux disease (ERD) or nonerosive reflux disease (NERD), while the remainder were free of GERD symptoms.

The 77 patients with NERD had more severe GERD symptoms and their daily activities were more affected than those of the ERD patients.

Both groups experienced significant sleep dysfunction, compared with their GERD-free peers, with mean Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) scores of 5.2 for ERD patients and 5.7 for NERD patients versus 3.9 for controls.

The scores were adjusted for the effects of age, gender, cigarette smoking, alcohol intake, income, and body mass index.

Daytime sleepiness was also more of a problem for ERD and NERD patients than controls, but not significantly so, with average scores on the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) of 4.7, 5.0, and 3.5, respectively.

The researchers note in the Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility that the rarity of daytime sleepiness among the participants may explain why there was not a significant difference among the groups. Also, they found that sleep duration in their study tended to be shorter than that previously reported in Western studies, and this may have influenced the results.

In addition to sleep dysfunction, the GERD patients also had emotional dysfunction, scoring higher than controls on measures of depression and anxiety particularly.

NERD patients had the worst overall QoL, compared with controls, as well as the greatest deterioration in the physical (including discomfort, sleep, activity of daily living, and work capacity), psychologic (including self-esteem, positive and negative thinking, and learning), and social domains.

The findings indicate that GERD, whether NERD or ERD, affects quality of sleep, say the researchers, and as sleep quality tended to be worse in NERD patients they suggest it may be associated with symptom severity.

medwireNews ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2013

By Lucy Piper, Senior medwireNews Reporter

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