About one third of the US adult population experiences symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux on a monthly basis. Asthma is present in about 5% of the same population. This article reviews and summarizes the literature in the following areas: (1) prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in asthmatic patients based on clinical symptoms, endoscopic esophagitis, and 24-hour ambulatory esophageal pH recordings; (2) proposed pathophysiologic mechanisms linking the 2 diseases; and (3) medical and surgical treatment trial results of antireflux therapy for asthmatic patients. Asthmatic patients appear to have an increased prevalence of GERD symptoms and 24-hour esophageal acid exposure. The clinical management of these patients remains controversial. Common management approaches to GERD in asthmatic patients include medical therapy with a proton pump inhibitor and/or antireflux surgery, which improve asthma symptoms in many patients but minimally affect pulmonary function.
ASJC Scopus subject areas