Background & aims: It has been speculated that gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) represents a risk factor for the occurrence of extraesophageal complications. The aim of this study was to compare the comorbid occurrence of sinus, laryngeal, and pulmonary diseases in case subjects with and control subjects without reflux esophagitis.
Methods: The case population consisted of all patients with erosive esophagitis (International Classification of Diseases code 530.1) or esophageal stricture (ICD code 530.3) who were discharged from hospitals of the Department of Veteran Affairs between 1981 and 1994. In multivariate logistic regressions, the occurrence of sinus, pharyngeal, laryngeal, or pulmonary disease was compared between cases with and an equal number of controls without esophagitis or stricture.
Results: A total of 101,366 case subjects was analyzed. Erosive esophagitis and esophageal stricture were associated with sinusitis (odds ratio, 1.60; 95% confidence interval, 1.51-1.70), pharyngitis (1.48; 1.15-1.89), aphonia (1.81; 1.18-2.80), laryngitis (2.01; 1.53-2.63), laryngeal stenosis (2.02; 1.12-3.65), chronic bronchitis (1.28; 1.22-1.34), asthma (1.51; 1.43-1.59), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (1.22; 1.16-1.27), pulmonary fibrosis (1.36; 1.25-1.48), bronchiectasis (1.26; 1.09-1.47), pulmonary collapse (1.31; 1.23-1.40), and pneumonia (1.15; 1.12-1.18).
Conclusions: Patients with reflux esophagitis are at an increased risk of harboring a large variety of sinus, pharyngeal, laryngeal, and pulmonary diseases.