No link between acid reflux and survival

January 4, 2008

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), often known as acid reflux, is a common problem that has been associated with cancers, asthma, recurrent aspiration and pulmonary fibrosis. A new study published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology examines whether GERD sufferers may have shorter lifespans than those without the disease.

Drawing on over 50,000 person-years of data, the study provides reassuring evidence that people with acid reflux symptoms do not have an increased risk of death, finding no difference in survival rates between sufferers and non-sufferers.

In fact, the study finds that people with infrequent acid reflux may actually have better survival rates than those with either daily symptoms, or none at all. “It may be that occasional reflux symptoms are a reflection of potential protective behaviors that are associated with reflux, such as regular exercise or modest amounts of alcohol ingestion,” suggest Nicholas J. Talley and G. Richard Locke, III, co-authors of the study.

The study adds perspective to the risk of acid reflux symptoms. While there are a large number of acid reflux sufferers in the U.S., incidences of related cancer are extremely rare. “Although extraesophageal manifestations occur in some people with reflux disease, our results suggest that this disease is a benign condition in the vast majority of sufferers,” say the authors.


Source: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Explore further: Athletes who experience trouble breathing may have vocal cord dysfunction

Related Stories

Is it heartburn or a heart attack?

March 3, 2017

Dear Mayo Clinic: My dad recently went to the emergency room with terrible chest pain and sweating, and was concerned he was having a heart attack. He was kept overnight for monitoring, but doctors said his heart was fine ...

Recommended for you

Most dengue infections transmitted in and around home

March 23, 2017

Transmission of the mosquito-borne dengue virus appears to be largely driven by infections centered in and around the home, with the majority of cases related to one another occurring in people who live less than 200 meters ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.