Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can be associated with a variety of extra-oesophageal disorders (EED) such as chronic cough, asthma, laryngeal disorder or chest pain. The aim of the study was to estimate and compare the prevalence of EED in a population with symptomatic GERD presenting as either erosive reflux disease (ERD) or non-erosive reflux disease (NERD).
Baseline data were collected from a prospective, multicentre, open cohort study (ProGERD) in which patients will be followed for 5 years after initial treatment with esomeprazole. Within the framework of this trial, all patients underwent gastroscopy and filled out a questionnaire designed to assess EED. The influence of potential prognostic factors on the prevalence of EED was analysed by multivariate (stepwise logistic regression) analysis.
6215 patients (3303 male, 2912 female; mean age 54 years) presenting with heartburn were included. EED was detected in 32.8% of all patients. The proportion was significantly higher (P = 0.0002) in ERD patients (34.9%) than in NERD patients (30.5%). As judged from the multivariate analysis, female gender, age, oesophagitis of LA grade C/D, duration of GERD disease greater than 1 years and smoking were significantly associated with EED. ERD patients with oesophagitis of LA grade A or B did not have a significantly higher risk of EED than patients with NERD.
Patients with GERD have a high probability of experiencing EED, which may be associated with a number of prognostic factors such as duration and severity of GERD. Extra-oesophageal disorders are slightly, but statistically, more prevalent in ERD than in NERD patients.