It has been suggested that there may be a link between GERD and coronary heart disease.
In this study, researchers from Europe estimated the incidence of myocardial infarction in patients with newly diagnosed GERD. They compared this incidence with that of the general population.
The team identified 7084 patients aged between 18 and 79 years with a first diagnosis of GERD. They also sampled a group of 10,000 patients who were free of GERD.
They performed a nested case-control analysis to assess the risk factors for myocardial infarction.
|The relative risk of myocardial infarction in patients with GERD was 1.4.|
|Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics|
The research team found that the incidence of myocardial infarction in the general population was 4.0 per 1000 person-years. This compared with 5.1 per 1000 person-years in patients with GERD.
The team determined that the relative risk of myocardial infarction in patients with GERD was 1.4.
However, they found that this increased risk was limited to the immediate days after the diagnosis of GERD.
The team also found that previous chest pain was an important predictor of myocardial infarction in patients free of GERD.
No association was identified between the use of acid-suppressing drugs and the risk of myocardial infarction.
Dr Johansson's team concluded, "Our results suggest that GERD is not an independent predictor of myocardial infarction".
"Rather, the increased risk of myocardial infarction in patients with GERD in the immediate days after diagnosis indicates that prodromal ischemic symptoms were misinterpreted as reflux symptoms".