Relationship between gastroesophageal reflux symptoms and dietary factors in Korea

J Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2011 Jan;17(1):54-60. doi: 10.5056/jnm.2011.17.1.54. Epub 2011 Jan 26.


Background/aims: The incidence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is increasing in Korea. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between GERD symptoms and dietary factors in Korea.

Methods: From January 2007 to April 2008, 162 subjects were enrolled (81 in GERD group and 81 in control group). They were asked to complete the questionnaires about GERD symptoms and dietary habits. The symptom severity score was recorded by visual analogue scale.

Results: Subjects with overweight or obesity had an increased risk for GERD (OR, 2.52; 95% CI, 1.18-5.39). Irregular dietary intake was one of the risk factors for GERD (OR, 2.33; 95% CI, 1.11-4.89). Acid regurgitation was the most suffering (2.85 ± 2.95 by visual analogue scale) and frequent reflux-related symptom (57.5%) in GERD. Noodles (OR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.12-1.34), spicy foods (OR, 1.09; 95% CI, 1.02-1.16), fatty meals (OR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.09-1.33), sweets (OR, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.00-2.02), alcohol (OR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.03-1.31), breads (OR, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.01-1.34), carbonated drinks (OR, 1.69; 95% CI, 1.04-2.74) and caffeinated drinks (OR,1.41; 95% CI, 1.15-1.73) were associated with symptom aggravation in GERD. Among the investigated noodles, ramen (instant noodle) caused reflux-related symptoms most frequently (52.4%).

Conclusions: We found that noodles, spicy foods, fatty meals, sweets, alcohol, breads, carbonated drinks and caffeinated drinks were associated with reflux-related symptoms.

Keywords: Diet; Food habits; Gastroesophageal reflux disease; Symptom.