Objectives/hypothesis: The relationship between gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and laryngeal cancer has not been fully elucidated. This case-control study investigates whether GERD increases the odds of developing these malignancies.
Study design: Case-control study.
Methods: Rates of GERD among cases of laryngeal cancer identified in the Veterans Health Administration outpatient care files (year 2000-2006) were compared with controls. Cases (N = 14,449) were frequency matched 1:1 with controls. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine the association between GERD and cancer.
Results: After adjusting for tobacco and/or alcohol use, there was no association between GERD and laryngeal cancer (adjusted odds ratio, 1.01; 95% confidence interval, 0.92-1.12, P =.780). Although an association was found when time from GERD diagnosis to malignancy was less than 3 months, it disappeared when this period was extended further.
Conclusions: In this population, there was no increased risk of laryngeal cancer among patients with GERD. However, in subsite analysis, a possible relationship between GERD and glottic cancer was observed. Reverse causality must be considered in future studies assessing the relationship between reflux and laryngeal cancer to limit misclassification bias.