ORLANDO, Fla. — Participants in a weight-loss program experienced improvement in GERD symptoms with successful weight loss in a study presented at Digestive Disease Week.
In a prospective cohort study, researchers evaluated weight, calorie intake and responses to a validated reflux disease questionnaire (RDQ) in 213 obese and overweight participants enrolled in a structured weight-loss program. An RDQ score of 2 or greater, indicating weekly or more frequent symptoms of heartburn or regurgitation was defined as GERD. Data was collected at baseline and after 6 and 12 months.
After 6 months, all participants had lost weight, with a mean loss of 14.8 ± 7.4 kg (P<.01) and a reduction in mean GERD score (MGS) from 2.15 to 0.72 (P<.01). GERD was identified in significantly fewer participants at 6 months than at baseline (16% of cases vs. 38%; P<.001).
Weight regain occurred between 6 and 12 months in 172 cases, with a mean gain of 5.3 ± 3.9 kg (P<.01), while MGS also increased significantly during this period (1.2; P<.01). More participants had GERD at this time point, with the difference between 6 and 12 months approaching statistical significance (22% of participants at 12 months; P=.06). Significant change to MGS occurred in those who gained less than 5% (change of 0.41; P<.05) and more than 5% of body weight (change of 0.73; P<.01).
Participants continued to lose weight at 12 months in 41 cases, with a mean loss of 21.5 ± 8.9 kg (P<.01). These participants also experienced continued and significant improvement to MGS (from 1.0 at baseline to 1.8; P<.05) and had fewer cases of GERD compared with baseline (12% of cases vs. 43%; P<.01).
Multivariate analysis indicated that the number of minutes spent performing physical activity such as walking or other exercise was negatively predictive of a change from baseline in GERD score at 12 months, regardless of calorie intake, age or weight change, but only among women (P<.05).
“Both GERD and obesity have been increasing exponentially in the US,” researcher Prateek Sharma, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, told Healio.com. “Weight loss can lead to significant reduction in GERD symptoms; if patients can gain weight after initial weight loss, it leads to recurrence of GERD symptoms. Weight loss should be strongly advocated in obese and overweight patients who have GERD.”
Disclosure: Dr. Sharma reported grant/research support from Olympus America, Ninepoint Medical, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company and Cook Medical. Researcher Amit Rastogi reported grant/research support from Olympus America.
For more information:
Sinh P. #748: Impact of Weight Loss and Physical Activity on GERD Symptoms. Data from a Prospective Study. Presented at: Digestive Disease Week 2013; May 18-21, Orlando, Fla.