Background: The impact of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease on work productivity has become increasingly important, as the symptoms of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease affect individuals in their productive years of life.
Aims: To assess the impact of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease on reduced work productivity and to identify the predictors of reduced productivity.
Methods: A sample of employed individuals reporting chronic heartburn was selected from US household mail survey respondents. Heartburn severity and frequency were recorded using a diary, and work productivity was assessed using the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire for Patients with Symptoms of Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease. Predictors of reduced productivity were evaluated.
Results: Over 30% of heartburn sufferers reported reduced productivity. Individuals with symptoms of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (n = 1003) reported 6.0% reduced productivity attributable to symptoms. Over 48% of respondents with severe symptoms reported reduced productivity, compared with 40% and 12% of respondents with moderate and mild symptoms, respectively. Using logistic regression, severity, a younger age and nocturnal symptoms were associated with increased odds of reduced productivity. In those reporting nocturnal heartburn, medication use and sleep interference increased the odds of reduced productivity.
Conclusions: Reduced work productivity is seen in a large proportion of subjects on prescription medication for gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. Symptom severity and nocturnal heartburn are significantly associated with reduced work productivity, particularly when nocturnal heartburn interferes with sleep.