Association Between Anxiety and Depression and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: Results From a Large Cross-sectional Study

J Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2018 Oct 1;24(4):593-602. doi: 10.5056/jnm18069.


Background/aims: The different clinical manifestations of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may be influenced by associated psychological factors. We evaluated the psychological status (anxiety and depression) according to each subtype of GERD.

Methods: Subjects who underwent esophagogastroduodenoscopy and completed a symptom questionnaire between January 2008 and December 2011 were analyzed. The subjects were classified into the following groups: erosive reflux disease (ERD), non-erosive reflux disease (NERD), asymptomatic erosive esophagitis (AEE), and controls. Anxiety and depression were assessed using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and Beck Depression Inventory, respectively.

Results: We analyzed 19 099 subjects: 16 157 (84.6%), 176 (0.9%), 1398 (7.3%), and 1368 (7.2%) in the control, ERD, NERD, and AEE groups, respectively. Multiple multinomial logistic regression revealed a significant association of increased state (adjusted OR, 1.89; 95% CI, 1.53-2.33) and trait anxiety (adjusted OR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.34-2.35) and depression (adjusted OR, 2.21; 95% CI, 1.75-2.80) with NERD. ERD group showed a significant association only with state anxiety (adjusted OR, 2.20; 95% CI, 1.27-3.81) and depression (adjusted OR, 2.23; 95% CI, 1.18-4.22). The AEE group, however, did not show any significant association with psychological factors.

Conclusion: This cross-sectional study revealed that anxiety and depression levels were significantly higher in subjects with GERD (notably in the NERD) than in controls.

Keywords: Anxiety; Depression; Gastroesophageal reflux; Psychology.