A team from Sweden evaluated the relationship between body mass and reflux esophagitis.
Endoscopically verified case subjects with reflux esophagitis, and randomly selected control subjects, matched for age, sex, and area of residence, were included in the study.
Individuals were classified within 3 body mass index (BMI) categories: BMI < 25 (normal in the WHO classification), BMI 25-30 (overweight), and BMI > 30 (obese).
Of 179 matched case-control pairs included in the investigation, 71 pairs were female.
In males, no association between overweight and/or obesity and the risk of reflux esophagitis was found.
However, the researchers found a strong association between increasing BMI and the risk of reflux esophagitis in females.
|Odds ratios for reflux esophagitis:|
BMI 25-30: 2.9
BMI > 30: 14.6
| Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology |
The respective odds ratios were 2.9 in the BMI 25-30 group and 14.6 in the BMI > 30 group.
This association between obesity and esophagitis was further strengthened by the use of estrogen replacement medication.
Author Magnus Nilsson, of the Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, concluded on behalf of the group, "The study discloses a strong and dose-dependent association between body mass and reflux esophagitis in women as opposed to no association among men.
"This association might be caused by increased estrogen activity in overweight and obese females."