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Studies Show Body Mass Index Has No Effect on Resolution and Healing of GERD Symptoms
Date:10/16/2007

- NEXIUM(R) (esomeprazole magnesium) Proven Effective at Standard Doses

Regardless of Body Mass Index -

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The link between gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and obesity has long been established, but healthcare professionals have had little guidance as to whether obese patients with GERD should be treated differently than normal-weight patients with GERD. Two studies about obesity and its relationship to GERD were presented at the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) Annual Scientific Meeting this week. One study, which evaluated symptom resolution in patients with non-erosive reflux disease, a type of GERD, received a 2007 ACG Presidential Poster Award. The other study examined GERD patients with erosive esophagitis, a condition in which stomach acid wears away, or erodes, the inner lining of the esophagus over time. Results of both studies showed despite whether a patient with GERD is considered obese or not, treatment should remain the same.(1)(2)

Body Mass Index (BMI) measures body fat by comparing a person's height to weight. A person with a BMI greater than 30 kg/m(2) is considered obese.(3) GERD is characterized by frequent, persistent heartburn (a burning feeling, rising from the stomach or lower part of the chest towards the neck) two or more days a week. It occurs when the valve between the esophagus and stomach does not close properly, allowing acid to leak back into the esophagus. When a person is overweight or obese, pressure inside the abdomen may increase causing this valve to relax, often leading to acid reflux.(3) In fact, studies have shown that people with a BMI greater than 30 kg/m(2) -- the cutoff for obesity -- face double the risk of developing GERD.(3)

"With obesity on the rise and more patients at risk for GERD than ever before, it's especially important that we understand how to treat overweight patients with GERD," said Prateek Sharma,
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SOURCE AstraZeneca
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