Certain pulmonary diseases are possible complications of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
In this study, researchers from Illinois sought to clarify the relationship between GERD and asthma. They determined the prevalence, nature, and patterns of reflux symptoms in consecutive asthmatics and a control group.
The team interviewed 261 asthmatic outpatients with well-documented asthma using an extensive questionnaire.
They also interviewed 218 consecutive outpatient controls chosen from the same general medical clinics.
The control and asthmatic groups were similar with regard to age, gender, ethnicity, and consumption of tobacco and alcohol.
|Eating before bedtime promoted symptoms.|
|American Journal of Gastroenterology|
The researchers found that there were significant differences between the 2 groups with regard to the age of onset of pulmonary and reflux symptoms. There were also differences in the prevalence of eating before bedtime and reflux symptoms, the quality of reflux symptoms, and the factors that promoted and relieved reflux symptoms.
They found that heartburn, regurgitation, and dysphagia were present in 71%, 45%, and 22% of asthmatics compared to 51%, 30%, and 5% of controls.
Furthermore, 3 times as many asthmatics as controls had heartburn occurring throughout the day and night. The team also found that more asthmatics had sudden nocturnal awakening with reflux symptoms and reflux-associated pulmonary symptoms.
The team determined that eating before bedtime was a promoter of serious nocturnal GERD symptoms in asthmatics.
Dr Stephen Sontag's team concluded, "Asthmatics have significantly more frequent and more severe day and night GERD symptoms and significantly more of the pulmonary symptoms…so often attributed to GERD".
"The habit of eating before bedtime appears in asthmatics to have serious and life-threatening consequences".