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New studies explore connection between high stress jobs and GI disorders
Date:10/29/2009

isorders, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression. In fact, patients with greater numbers of mental health disorders had progressively higher rates of GERD at their assessment: one MHD 47.27 percent, two MHDs 64.4 percent, 3 MHDs 69.7 percent, and 4 MHDs 72.2 percent.

The researchers also evaluated other environmental and lifestyle factors commonly associated with GERD, including smoking and obesity, but found no association with the increased frequency of GERD among WTC workers. However, length of exposure at the WTC site correlated with the diagnosis of both PTSD and GERD.

"Eight years after 9/11 we are still realizing the after-effects on those who responded and participated in the massive clean-up efforts" said Dr. Brand. "Shortly after this highly stressful and toxic exposure, the appearance of GERD characterized by high co-morbidity with mental health disorders, but no relation to obesity or smoking, suggests that mental health disorders may play an important role in the persistence of GERD among these workers. Thus, treatment of the underlying mental health disorder may be necessary to resolve the physical manifestation of GERD."

"Hopefully, these insights will help us better understand the mind-body connection and to treat other first responders following high-stress, high exposure deployments."


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Contact: Jennifer Burke Labriola
burkepr@gmail.com
203-405-1479
American College of Gastroenterology
Source:Eurekalert

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