Influence of Age and Sex on Clinical and Therapeutic Features of Laryngopharyngeal Reflux

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2022 Mar;166(3):468-476. doi: 10.1177/01945998211020284. Epub 2021 Jun 22.


Objective: To explore the influence of age and sex on the clinical presentation and therapeutic response of patients with laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR).

Study design: Prospective study.

Setting: Prospective multicenter study of 271 patients with a diagnosis of LPR confirmed by impedance-pH monitoring.

Methods: Patients were prescribed 6 months of diet changes and a combination of pantoprazole and/or alginate depending on the results of their impedance-pH results. The Reflux Symptom Score (RSS) and Reflux Sign Assessment (RSA) were collected at baseline and at 3 and 6 months posttreatment. Data were explored according to sex and age.

Results: A total of 237 patients completed the evaluations (138 females). On the RSS, patients of the oldest group (>60 years) had lower symptom scores (throat pain, ear pain, odynophagia, chest pain, tongue burning, nausea, halitosis, and indigestion) and lower quality-of-life scores than younger individuals. RSS and RSA outcomes significantly improved from pretreatment to 3 months posttreatment in all groups. Scores on the RSS and RSA continued to improve from 3 to 6 months posttreatment in the elderly group. Females with LPR had a higher score on the RSS at baseline as compared with males. On the RSS, scores significantly improved after 3 months in males and females; however, they continued to improve from 3 to 6 months in the female group.

Conclusion: Age and sex may influence the clinical presentation and pre- to posttreatment evolution of symptoms and findings. Age and sex differences could be considered in future therapeutic approaches to guide more effective personalized treatment plans for patients with LPR.

Keywords: age; gender; impedance; laryngitis; laryngopharyngeal; pH monitoring; reflux; reflux episode; sex; treatment.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Esophageal pH Monitoring / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laryngopharyngeal Reflux* / drug therapy
  • Laryngopharyngeal Reflux* / therapy
  • Male
  • Pain
  • Prospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index