Gastroesophageal reflux in obese patients is not reduced by weight reduction

Scand J Gastroenterol. 1996 Nov;31(11):1047-51. doi: 10.3109/00365529609036885.


Background: The present study tested the hypothesis that weight reduction improves the subjective and objective manifestations of gastroesophageal reflux.

Methods: Twenty obese patients with gastroesophageal reflux as shown by 24-h pH measurement and with symptoms requiring daily medication were studied. The patients were randomized into a group (A) treated with very low-caloric diet (VLCD) and a control group (B). Objective measurements were repeated after 6 months. Group B was then treated with VLCD and reexamined.

Results: Patients in group A lost 10.8 +/- 1.4 kg whereas group B gained 0.6 +/- 0.7 kg (P < 0.001). There was no reduction in reflux according to pH measurement. Furthermore, there were no significant changes in reflux symptoms. After VLCD treatment, group B lost 9.7 +/- 1.6 kg, but reflux indicators remained unchanged. All patients except one in group B remained dependent on daily anti-reflux medication.

Conclusion: Weight reduction does not improve the subjective or objective manifestations of reflux.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Diet, Reducing*
  • Esophagogastric Junction / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / complications
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Male
  • Manometry
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Time Factors
  • Weight Loss