Dr Professor Talley determined whether obese subjects experience more gastro-esophageal reflux symptoms than normal subjects.
The researchers further determined if this association was explained by esophagitis or medications that lower esophageal sphincter pressure.
In a representative Swedish population, a random sample of 1001 patients with a mean age of 54 years of which 51% were women, had upper endoscopy.
Gastro-esophageal reflux symptoms was defined as any bothersome heartburn or acid regurgitation.
The prevalence of obesity was 16%, and the team found that esophagitis occurred in 27% of obese patients compared with 9% in normal subjects.
| Esophagitis occurred in 27% of obese patients|
There were associations between obesity and gastro-esophageal reflux symptoms, epigastric pain, irritable bowel symptoms, and any abdominal pain.
The researchers also found associations between obesity and vomiting, retching, diarrhoea, any stool urgency, and nocturnal urgency.
In addition, the team observed an association between obesity and incomplete rectal evacuation, adjusting for age, sex, and education.
When subjects with esophagitis and peptic ulcer were excluded, only diarrhoea, incomplete evacuation, and vomiting were associated with obesity.
The team noted that the association between gastro-esophageal reflux symptoms and obesity remained significant adjusting for medication use.
Dr Talley's team concludes, “Gastro-esophageal reflux symptoms is associated with obesity.”
“This appears to be explained by increased upper endoscopy findings in obesity.”