Effects of Life style factors on the symptoms of gastro esophageal reflux disease: A cross sectional study in a Pakistani population

Gastro esophageal reflux disease

  • Shahid Ahmed Darul Sehat Hospital, Karachi.
  • Sajjad Jamil Liaquat National Hospital & Medical College, Karachi,
  • Hafeezullah Shaikh National Institute of Liver and GI Diseases, Dow University of Health Sciences, and Zubaida Medical Center
  • Maryam Abbasi Darul Sehat Hospital, Karachi
Keywords: Lifestyle, Gastroesophageal reflux, Smoking, Sleep deprivation, Exercise


Background & Objective: Gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD) broadly includes the whole spectrum of reflux disease symptoms like heartburn or acid regurgitation to endoscopic, reflux esophagitis or Barrett’s esophagus. Our aim therefore was to study the association between Gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms and various lifestyle factors.

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out in the outpatient department of Darul Sehat Hospital, Zubaida Medical Center and Liaquat National Hospital & Medical College, Karachi, Pakistan from January 2018 to October 2018. The selected candidates were asked to fill a validated GERD questionnaire and they were also asked about their lifestyle factors. Odds ratio and their 95% confidence interval were estimated using binary logistic regression with GERD symptoms as the study outcome.

Results: A total of 2000 respondents completed the questionnaire. 69.3% gastroesophageal reflux disease cases were found in participants above 35 years of age while 56.9% subjects were male. The most common lifestyle factors associated with GERD were less exercise time (90.9%) (OR, 6.47; 95% CI, 4.91-8.53), 78.3% participants had habit of eating midnight snacks (OR, 5.08; 95% CI, 4.03-6.40), 87.3% participants reported less interval between dinner and sleep (OR, 6.98; 95% CI, 5.36-9.08). The most important factor relieving GERD symptoms was raising the head of bed during sleep (79.4%) while 43.3% subjects with the habit of post dinner walk reported fewer symptoms of GERD.

Conclusion: Lifestyle factors particularly less physical activity, late evening meals, inadequate sleep, smoking and post dinner lying were found to be associated with GERD symptoms.

doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.36.2.1371

How to cite this:
Ahmed S, Jamil S, Shaikh H, Abbasi M. Effects of Life style factors on the symptoms of gastro esophageal reflux disease: A cross sectional study in a Pakistani population. Pak J Med Sci. 2020;36(2):115-120. doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.36.2.1371

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Original Articles