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Chronic Reflux Often Leads to Sleepless Nights

Almost half of sufferers are kept awake by a variety of symptoms, survey found

THURSDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Along with typical symptoms such as acid reflux, the less typical symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) -- such as coughing, choking, wheezing, choking, snoring, sore throat, and chest pain -- can cause people significant sleep problems, according to a new U.S. survey.

The poll of 701 GERD patients found that sleep impairment was much more common among those with GERD (41.9 percent) than among people without GERD (19.4 percent), and that about half of people with nighttime GERD reported sleeping poorly often or most of the time, compared to 36.7 percent of those with daytime GERD.

Among GERD patients, 74 percent reported at least one nighttime atypical symptom. For almost every atypical symptom in the study, more than 20 percent of GERD patients reported that the symptom occurred frequently -- more than two nights a week.

The survey also found that GERD patients with atypical symptoms were more likely to suffer sleep problems than GERD patients with typical symptoms such as heartburn and acid regurgitation.

The percentage of GERD patients who reported sleeping problems was much higher for those reporting eight out of nine of the atypical symptoms included in the survey than for these without atypical symptoms.

The findings were presented this week at the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology, in Philadelphia.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more about GERD.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: American College of Gastroenterology, news release, Oct. 15, 2007

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