Obesity linked to acid reflux disease

New study may explain known connection between obesity and esophageal cancer

Oakland, Calif. - December 12, 2006 -- According to a new article in The American Journal of Gastroenterology, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GRD), more commonly known as, acid reflux, is linked to obesity. Since (GRD) is strongly associated with more serious conditions, such as esophageal ulcers and cancer, weight reduction therapy may be useful in treatment and prevention of these conditions.

"The condition is very common, but previous studies have not been successful at pinpointing risk factors for the condition," says Douglas Corley, author of the study. "Because we reviewed the results of 20 studies on the subject, we were able to better identify and understand the association between obesity and acid reflux."

In a nation becoming increasingly aware of the dangers of obesity, this new finding provides yet another reason to discuss weight management with a physician. "We know that an increase in body weight increases the chance of having heartburn and acid reflux, which can increase the risk of esophageal ulcers and cancer," says Corley. "While we can’t say at this time that weight loss therapy is definitely the solution to this condition, it certainly warrants further research as a treatment."

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This study is published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article please contact medicalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net

Dr. Douglas Corley studies gastroesophageal reflux disease and its complications with Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California and with the Division of Gastroenterology at the University of California, San Francisco. He can be reached for questions at Douglas.Corley@kp.org.

The American Journal of Gastroenterology is the official publication of the American College of Gastroenterology. Aimed at practicing clinicians, the journal's articles deal directly with the disorders seen most often in patients. The journal brings a broad-based, interdisciplinary approach to the study of gastroenterology, including articles reporting on current observations, research results, methods of treatment, drugs, epidemiology, and other topics relevant to clinical gastroenterology. For more information, please visit http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/ajg

The American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) was founded in 1932 to advance the scientific study and medical practice of diseases of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The College promotes the highest standards in medical education and is guided by its commitment to meeting the individual and collective needs of clinical GI practitioners. For more information, please visit http://www.acg.gi.org/

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