Poorly treated or unrecognized GERD reduces quality of life in patients with COPD

Ivan E. Rascon-Aguilar, Mark Pamer, Peter Wludyka, James Cury, Kenneth J. Vega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: The effect of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) on health-related quality of life (HRQL) in COPD has never been assessed. Aim: To evaluate HRQL in patients with COPD alone compared with those with both COPD and continuing GERD symptoms. Methods: A questionnaire-based, cross-sectional survey was performed. Subjects were recruited from the outpatient pulmonary clinics at the University of Florida Health Science Center/Jacksonville. Included patients had an established diagnosis of COPD. Exclusion criteria were respiratory disorders other than COPD, known esophageal disease, active peptic ulcer disease, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, mastocytosis, scleroderma, and current alcohol abuse. Those meeting the criteria and agreeing to participate were asked to complete the Mayo Clinic GERQ and SF-36 questionnaires, by either personal or telephone interview. Clinically significant reflux was defined as heartburn and/or acid regurgitation weekly. Study patients were divided into two groups for HRQL analysis based on the GERQ response: COPD+/GERD+ and COPD only. Statistical analysis was performed using the Mann-Whitney-Wilcoxon T test for unequal variables and linear regression was performed using ANOVA. All data are expressed as mean and standard deviation. Results: Eighty-six patients completed both questionnaires. Males were 55% and COPD+/GERD+ patients comprised 37% of the study group. Compared with COPD only, HRQL was reduced across all measures for the COPD+ GERD+ patients and achieved significance for bodily pain (P < 0.02), mental health (P < 0.05), and physical component score (P < 0.05). Conclusion: Patients with COPD and continuing GERD symptoms have reduced HRQL in comparison with those with COPD alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1976-1980
Number of pages5
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • COPD
  • GERD
  • Quality of life
  • Questionnaire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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