Gastro-esophageal reflux symptoms are common in the community.
However, few studies have examined their long-term natural history, or impact on survival.
Dr Ford and colleagues examined these issues in individuals recruited into a community-based screening programme for Helicobacter pylori in 1994.
The team obtained data on mortality and cause of death at 10 years from the Office for National Statistics.
Baseline demographic data, lifestyle factors, gastrointestinal symptoms and quality of life were recorded at study entry.
The effect of all these factors on persistent and new-onset Gastro-esophageal reflux symptoms, and 10-year mortality, were examined using univariate and multivariate analysis.
The team of doctors found that of 3967 individuals providing complete gastro-esophageal reflux symptoms data at baseline and 10 years, 549 had gastro-esophageal reflux symptoms at baseline.
|0.8% per year developed new-onset gastro-esophageal reflux symptoms |
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
Of these, 183 had persistent symptoms.
Among 3418 individuals asymptomatic at baseline, approximately 0.8% per year developed new-onset gastro-esophageal reflux symptoms.
The team of doctors identified no predictors of persistent gastro-esophageal reflux symptoms.
The doctors noted that the new-onset symptoms were associated with lower quality of life or presence of irritable bowel syndrome at baseline, and higher body mass index at 10 years.
There were 8331 of 8407 subjects providing complete gastro-esophageal reflux symptoms data at baseline, 1289 of whom were symptomatic.
Presence of gastro-esophageal reflux symptoms at baseline did not affect survival.
Dr Ford's team concluded "Gastro-esophageal reflux symptoms persisted in one-third of individuals, whilst new-onset gastro-esophageal reflux symptoms were associated with poor quality of life, irritable bowel syndrome and higher body mass index."
"Gastro-esophageal reflux symptoms did not impact adversely on survival."