How does obesity contribute to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)?

Updated: May 23, 2019
  • Author: Marco G Patti, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Some studies have shown that GERD is highly prevalent in patients who are morbidly obese and that a high body mass index (BMI) is a risk factor for the development of this condition. [18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23] The hypothesis that obesity increases esophageal acid exposure is supported by the documentation of a dose-response relationship between increased BMI and increased prevalence of GERD and its complications. Therefore, the pathophysiology of GERD in patients who are morbidly obese might differ from that of patients who are not obese. The therapeutic implication of such a premise is that the correction of reflux in patients who are morbidly obese might be better achieved with a procedure that first controls obesity.


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