Gastro-esophageal reflux symptoms and body mass index: No relation among the Iranian population
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An association between obesity and symptoms of gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) has been frequently reported in western societies. A recent study indicated a consistent association between abdominal diameter and reflux-type symptoms in the white population, but no consistent association in the black population or Asians. It is unclear whether an association persists after adjusting for known risk factors of GERD among Asian populations. We did a population-based, cross-sectional interview study to estimate the strength of association between body mass and symptoms of reflux. During interviews, participants completed a valid gastro-esophageal reflux questionnaire. Odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI), calculated by logistic regression with multivariate adjustments for covariates, were the measures of association. Symptoms of reflux at least once a week over the past 3 months were reported by 522 (9.1%) of the 5733 interviewees. Among those who were overweight or obese (BMI > 25 kg/m2), the OR of having symptoms of reflux was 0.88 (95% CI: 0.66-1.16) compared with those who were not overweight or obese. Thus, among Asians, symptoms of GERD occur independently of body mass index. Copyright é 2008 by Indian Society of Gastroenterology.