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  Zanko J Med Sci:  Dec. 2016; 20 (3): 1531-1535

A prospective study on the effect of waist circumference on symptom severity of gastroesophageal reflux disease

Sabah Jalal Shareef & Muhammed Mustafa Kamal & Nuri Baderkhan Saeed Ahmed


Background and objective: Gastro esophageal reflux disease is one of the commonest gastrointestinal diseases and its incidence is increasing. There is a real challenge in diagnosis and treatment because of its complication if untreated and its effect on patient daily performance. We tried to find the relation between this disease severity symptom known by the number of heartburn attacks per week and (waist circumference).

Methods: A cross-sectional study of 100 patients (55% female and 45% male) diagnosed with gastro esophageal reflux disease in Rizgary Teaching Hospital Erbil city from January 2014 to June 2014. Their ages ranged from 17 to 75 years. The criteria for patient selection depended on history and clinical examination and endoscopy, waist circumference measured with a tape measure in centimeter.

Results: The mean age ± SD of participants, was 37.13 ± 12.5 ranged from 17-75 years. Regarding the relation between frequency of heartburn attacks and waist circumflex, the study revealed that the number of heartburn attacks was significantly increasing with increasing waist circumflex, (P <0.001), indicating that there is a strong relation between the increase in waist circumflex and severity of gastro esophageal reflux disease symptoms. 

Conclusion: Increasing of body weight especially waist circumference increases acid exposure to the esophagus. This affects on gastro esophageal reflux disease symptoms severity and its complication. That is why decreasing body weight should be the first line of treatment which will decrease future complication.

Keywords: Waist circumference; Gastroesophageal reflux, Symptom severity.


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