Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can be associated with laryngo-respiratory symptoms (LRS) such as chronic cough, asthma or laryngeal symptoms.
To analyse the long-term clinical course of LRS in a large population with GERD and LRS.
ProGERD is a prospective multicentre cohort study of 6215 adult out-patients with GERD. At baseline, the prevalence of LRS was assessed. Initial standardized treatment was esomeprazole for up to 8 weeks. After 5 years of follow-up, patients were interviewed for LRS and a multivariate analysis was performed with resolved vs. persistent symptoms for chronic cough, asthma and laryngeal symptoms.
In all, 2886 patients (46.4%) were available for analysis at baseline and at 5 years. The prevalence of chronic cough and laryngeal disorders had decreased while the prevalence of asthma had increased. Resolution of LRS was independent of clinical reflux characteristics or PPI medication.
In a large population with GERD, only few patients reported persistent LRS over 5 years. Resolution of LRS was independent of the stage of GERD and PPI treatment. Accordingly, data on the direction of causality between GERD and LRS are lacking and the strength of the association between the two must remain controversial.