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11-04-2013 | Respiratory | Article

GERD common in Asian lung disease patients


Free abstract

medwireNews: Results from an Indian study suggest that gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is prevalent among Asian patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

In a study of 50 patients (82% men) with mild-to-moderate COPD, Mradul Kumar Daga (Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi) and team found that more than three quarters had GERD.

"Our current understanding of the epidemiology of GORD [GERD] in COPD is primarily based on population-based cross-sectional studies conducted in the affluent Western regions, like [the] United States and Europe," comment the researchers, who add that "there have been only few such studies [of GERD incidence] in our geographical location, especially among COPD patients."

All of the patients, who were assessed over a 1-year period, were aged over 40 years (mean age 55.7 years), had a smoking history of at least 15 pack years, and did not have a history of other lung diseases, diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease, peptic ulcer disease, or alcohol abuse.

GERD symptoms (heartburn and acid regurgitation) were assessed using questionnaires, and all of the patients underwent 24-hour esophageal pH monitoring.

In total, 38 (76%) patients reported experiencing GERD symptoms.

Results from 24-hour pH monitoring revealed that 31 (81.5%) of these 38 symptomatic patients had GERD, while eight (66.6%) out of 12 asymptomatic patients had the condition.

Among symptomatic patients, 11 (28.9%) had distal gastro-esophageal reflux and 20 (52.6%) had both distal and proximal reflux.

Among the asymptomatic group, six (50%) had distal reflux and two (16.6%) had both distal and proximal reflux.

Daga et al conclude in Respirology:"The present study reports a high incidence of [GERD] in patients with mild-to-moderate COPD."

While acknowledging that the study cohort was small and had a male gender bias, the researchers say the findings highlight "a possible pathophysiological relationship between COPD and [GERD], which needs to be evaluated and explored in order to understand the cause-and-effect relationship and its relevance in disease management."

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

By Mark Cowen, Senior medwireNews Reporter

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