In this study, physicians from Germany assessed the patient-associated risk factors associated with erosive gastroesophageal reflux disease (ERD).
The team recruited 6215 patients with troublesome heartburn to a prospective, multicenter open cohort study with an initial treatment phase and a 5-year follow-up phase.
The team recruited an equal number of patients with nonerosive gastroesophageal reflux disease and ERD.
All patients underwent an interview based on standardized questionnaires, a physical examination, and endoscopy with biopsies.
The physicians performed risk factor analysis on 5289 patients. Of these patients 2455 had ERD, the remainder had nonerosive gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Regression analysis determined that male gender, overweight, regular use of alcohol, a history of gastroesophageal reflux disease, and being a smoker or ex-smoker were predictors of ERD.
However, a higher level of education and a positive Helicobacter pylori status were associated with a lower risk of ERD.
Dr Joachim Labenz and colleagues concluded, "Some patient-associated factors increase the risk of erosive esophagitis as opposed to nonerosive reflux disease".
"However, no single factor or combination of factors is capable of predicting mucosal damage with clinically sufficient certainty".
"Thus, endoscopy is still required in all gastroesophageal reflux disease patients if valid information on the state of the esophageal mucosa is needed".