Reflux symptoms are associated with psychiatric disease

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2001 Dec;15(12):1907-12. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2036.2001.01131.x.


Aims: To evaluate the frequency of reflux symptoms in patients with a diagnosed psychiatric disorder and to assess potential risk factors for symptom occurrence.

Methods: The presence of reflux symptoms was compared between a case population of 94 psychiatric patients and a control population of 198 non-psychiatric patients.

Results: Heartburn, exercise-induced heartburn, cough and dysphagia were all reported significantly more frequently by subjects with psychiatric disorders than by control subjects. The presence of any psychiatric diagnosis exerted an increased risk for both heartburn (odds ratio, 2.71; 95% confidence interval, 1.01-7.30) and exercise-induced heartburn (3.34; 1.12-9.96). The type of psychiatric disorder, the type of psychotropic medication and the lifestyle did not influence the presence of reflux symptoms.

Conclusions: Reflux symptoms occur more frequently in patients with than without a diagnosed psychiatric disorder. The reflux symptoms are not associated with any specific type of medication and may reflect a generally reduced threshold for or distorted perception of symptoms.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Deglutition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Deglutition Disorders / psychology
  • Female
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / epidemiology
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / psychology*
  • Heartburn / epidemiology
  • Heartburn / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / complications*
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • United States / epidemiology