Effects of gastroesophageal reflux disease on sleep and outcomes

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009 Sep;7(9):953-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2009.04.005. Epub 2009 Apr 16.


Background & aims: Nighttime symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are prevalent and have negative effects on sleep quality. We quantified the effects of GERD symptoms on sleep difficulties and their effects on outcomes.

Methods: Data were obtained from a patient-reported survey conducted in 2006 among the general US population. Respondents who had experienced GERD symptoms at least twice during the past month were categorized as GERD patients and were subclassified into groups on the basis of nighttime symptoms and sleep difficulties. Outcomes included health care resource use in past 6 months, work productivity and activity impairment (WPAI), and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) based on results of the Short-Form Health Survey (SF-8). Regression analysis was used to adjust for demographics and clinical characteristics.

Results: Of 11,685 survey respondents with GERD, 88.9% experienced nighttime symptoms, 68.3% sleep difficulties, 49.1% difficulty initiating asleep (induction symptoms), and 58.3% difficulty maintaining sleep (maintenance symptoms). Respondents with nighttime GERD symptoms were more likely to experience sleep difficulties (odds ratio, 1.53) and difficulties with induction (odds ratio, 1.43) and maintenance (odds ratio, 1.56) of sleep (P < .001 for all). Sleep difficulties were associated with 0.9 additional provider visits, a 5.5% increase in overall work impairment, a 10.9% increase in activity impairment, and reductions of 3.1 and 3.6 points in SF-8 physical and mental summary scores, respectively.

Conclusions: Nighttime GERD symptoms are associated with interruption of sleep induction and maintenance and result in considerable economic burden and reduction in HRQOL.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Body Mass Index
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / complications*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications
  • Odds Ratio
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sex Factors
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / epidemiology
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / etiology*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / psychology*
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Surveys and Questionnaires