Acid reflux and asthma

Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2003 Jan;9(1):42-5. doi: 10.1097/00063198-200301000-00007.


The association between asthma and gastroesophageal reflux (GER) has been further delineated with recent clinical investigations. The prevalence of GER development in asthmatics is higher than in control populations. Furthermore, asthmatics with GER have a higher risk of asthma hospitalization. Asthma medications may be one of the promoting factors for GER development in asthmatics. Inhaled albuterol decreases lower esophageal sphincter (LES) pressure and esophageal contraction amplitude. Furthermore, oral prednisone results in increased esophageal acid contact times. Respiratory symptoms also correlate with esophageal acid events. The role of neurogenic inflammation in asthma-induced bronchoconstriction is also being further developed. Therapy of GER may improve asthma outcomes in selected asthmatics. Currently, there are no double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trials reporting asthma outcomes with antireflux therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / diagnosis
  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / diagnosis
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index