Overweight and obesity are believed to be risk factors for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Dr Marc Nocon and colleagues from Germany analyzed the impact of body mass index on the severity and frequency of reflux symptoms and esophagitis in a large cohort of reflux patients.
As part of the Progression of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (ProGERD) study, 6215 patients with clinically assessed GERD were included in the present investigation.
Heartburn and regurgitation symptoms were assessed using the validated Reflux Disease Questionnaire.
Endoscopies were performed and patients were subsequently classified as having non-erosive or erosive disease.
| The effects were more pronounced for regurgitation than for heartburn|
|Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology|
The research team examined the association between body mass index, GERD symptoms, and esophagitis.
The team calculated odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals using logistic regression models.
In patients with GERD, higher body mass index was associated with more frequent and more severe heartburn and regurgitation, and esophagitis.
The research team observed that the effects were more pronounced for regurgitation than for heartburn.
The strongest association was between obesity and severity of regurgitation symptoms.
The team observed that obese women, but not men, had an increased risk of severe esophagitis compared to women with normal weight.
Dr Nocon's team commented, "In patients with GERD, higher body mass index was associated with more severe and more frequent reflux symptoms and esophagitis."