Objective: It is generally recommended that patients with gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) refrain from eating within 3 h of going to sleep. In addition to a remarkable lack of supporting clinical evidence, whether GERD patients have shorter dinner-to-bed time is unknown. This study was designed to determine a possible association between dinner-to-bed time and GERD, compared with healthy adults.
Methods: In a matched case-control study, we enrolled 147 GERD patients, and age- and sex-matched 294 controls without GERD symptoms such as heartburn and acid regurgitation during the previous year. Dinner-to-bed time, defined as the time intervals until going to bed after finishing eating dinner, was examined by a self-report questionnaire. Logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for GERD.
Results: After adjustment for smoking habits, drinking habits, and body mass index, shorter dinner-to-bed time was significantly associated with an increased OR of GERD (p < 0.0001) and the OR for patients whose dinner-to-bed time was less than 3 h was 7.45 (95% CI 3.38-16.4) compared with patients whose dinner-to-bed time was 4 h or more. These observations were consistent in both patients with non-erosive GERD and erosive esophagitis, and there was no significant difference in dinner-to-bed time intervals between non-erosive GERD and erosive esophagitis.
Conclusion: In this matched case-control study, shorter dinner-to-bed time was significantly associated with an increased OR for GERD.