Greater loss of productivity among Japanese workers with gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms that persist vs resolve on medical therapy

Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2014 Jun;26(6):764-71. doi: 10.1111/nmo.12319. Epub 2014 Feb 25.


Background: Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) impairs quality of life; however, the association between GERD and work productivity has not been well investigated in Japan. This study was designed to compare the impact of GERD on productivity between Japanese workers with GERD symptoms that persisted vs resolved on medical therapy.

Methods: A cross-sectional Web-based survey was conducted in workers. The impact of GERD on work and daily productivity was evaluated using a Web-reported Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire for patients with GERD and a GERD symptom severity Questionnaire. Demographic information, clinical history, and satisfaction with GERD medication were also ascertained.

Key results: A total of 20 000 subjects were invited to the survey. After the exclusion of patients with a history of gastrointestinal (GI) malignancy, peptic ulcer, upper GI surgery, and unemployment, 650 participants were included in the analysis. Participants with persistent GERD symptoms reported a significantly greater losses of work productivity (11.4 ± 13.4 h/week), absenteeism (0.7 ± 3.1 h/week), presenteeism (10.7 ± 12.6 h/week), costs (20 100 ± 26 800 JPY/week), and lower daily productivity (71.3% [95% confidence interval, 69.0-73.7]) than those whose symptoms were alleviated with medications. The level of dissatisfaction with GERD medications among participants with persistent GERD symptoms was significantly correlated with loss of work and daily productivity (p < 0.001).

Conclusions & inferences: GERD places a significant burden on work and daily productivity despite medical therapy. Ineffective GERD therapy is associated with greater productivity loss.

Keywords: gastro-esophageal reflux disease; quality of life; treatment satisfaction; work productivity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism*
  • Adult
  • Cost of Illness
  • Efficiency / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / drug therapy
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / epidemiology
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life / psychology*