Published online Jun 26, 2019. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v7.i12.1421
Peer-review started: January 3, 2019
First decision: January 30, 2019
Revised: April 22, 2019
Accepted: May 2, 2019
Article in press: May 2, 2019
Published online: June 26, 2019
Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a serious health and social problem leading to a considerable decrease in the quality of life of patients. Among the risk factors associated with reflux symptoms and that decrease the quality of life are stress, overweight and an increase in body weight. The concept of health-related quality of life (HRQL) covers an expanded effect of the disease on a patient’s wellbeing and daily activities and is one of the measures of widely understood quality of life. HRQL is commonly measured using a self-administered, disease-specific questionnaires.
To determine the effect of reflux symptoms, stress and body mass index (BMI) on the quality of life.
The study included 118 patients diagnosed with reflux disease who reported to an outpatient department of gastroenterology or a specialist hospital ward for planned diagnostic tests. Assessment of the level of reflux was based on the frequency of 5 typical of GERD symptoms. HRQL was measured by a 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) and level of stress using the 10-item Perceived Stress Scale. Multi-variable relationships were analyzed using multiple regression.
Eleven models of analysis were performed in which the scale of the SF-36 was included as an explained variable. In all models, the same set of explanatory variables: Gender, age, reflux symptoms, stress and BMI, were included. The frequency of GERD symptoms resulted in a decrease in patients’ results according to 6 out of 8 SF-36 scales- except for mental health and vitality scales. Stress resulted in a decrease in patient function in all domains measured using the SF-36. Age resulted in a decrease in physical function and in overall assessment of self-reported state of health. An increasing BMI exerted a negative effect on physical fitness and limitations in functioning resulting from this decrease.
In GERD patients, HRQL is negatively determined by the frequency of reflux symptoms and by stress, furthermore an increasing BMI and age decreases the level of physical function.
Core tip: Gastro-esophageal reflux disease is a serious health problem leading to a decrease in the quality of life. This study determines the effect of reflux symptoms, stress and body mass index (commonly known as BMI) on the quality of life measured by a 36-item Short Form Health Survey. We demonstrate that in patients with gastro-esophageal reflux, stress decreases the quality of life to a higher degree than the frequency of reflux symptoms. Age and increasing BMI result in decreased physical function. Therefore, the patient’s stress level should be considered in the diagnosis and therapy, as well as an assessment of the progress of treatment.