BACKGROUND AND AIM: Excess weight is a risk factor of gastroesophageal reflux symptoms (GERS) in population-based studies but it is unknown to what extent short-term weight gain (occurring in months) is associated with the development of GERS. Our aim is to examine the association of weight gain with GERS. METHODS: A phone interview was conducted with 2,500 persons aged 40-79 yr selected at random from the general population of Spain. The Gastroesophageal Reflux Questionnaire was used to identify the onset, frequency, and severity of GERS. We also assessed weight, height, and 1-yr weight change (classified as no weight gain, weight gain ≤5 kg, and weight gain >5 kg). We compared the frequency of new (less than 1 yr duration) and old (1 yr or more duration) GERS among weight change subgroups. The association between weight change and GERS was analyzed by logistic regression adjusting for BMI and other potential confounders. RESULTS: The prevalence of new and old GERS, respectively, was significantly (p < 0.05) higher in subjects with weight gain >5 kg (14.4% and 32.4%) than in those with weight gain ≤5 kg (8.2% and 27.5%) and no weight gain (5.4% and 22.5%). Subjects with a weight gain ≤5 kg showed an adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of 1.5 (95% confidence limits [CL]: 0.9-2.4) for new GERS and of 1.1 (95% CL: 0.8-1.4) for old GERS. Those with a weight gain >5 kg showed an aOR of 3.0 (95% CL: 1.6-6.0) for new GERS and of 1.3 (0.8-2.1) for old GERS. CONCLUSION: Weight gain is associated with GERS, independently of BMI.
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