January - March 2003: 
Volume 16, Issue 1

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Prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms in bronchial asthma patients in Greece
A high prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms in patients with bronchial asthma has been shown in several reports from North America and Europe. However, no data from Greece are available. The aim of this study is to assess the prevalence of GERD symptoms in Greek asthmatics. A total of 92 asthmatics (50 males and 42 females, aged 42.9±14.2 years) referred to our outpatient clinic, and 85 age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects were asked to complete a structured questionnaire on the presence of GERD symptoms. The prevalence of heartburn and regurgitation was higher in asthmatics (81.5% and 57.6%, respectively) than in controls (32.9% and 7.6%, respectively, p<0.01). None of the medications routinely used in the treatment of asthma was associated with increased prevalence of GERD symptoms. Our results suggest that Greek asthmatics referred to a tertiary care center have a significantly higher prevalence of GERD symptoms compared to controls. Additional studies in the general population of asthmatic patients are required to further clarify the relationship between asthma and GERD in Greece. Pneumon 2003, 16(1):59-66.