What is the role of gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) in asthma?

Updated: Jan 07, 2019
  • Author: Michael J Morris, MD, FACP, FCCP; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Answer

The presence of acid in the distal esophagus, mediated via vagal or other neural reflexes, can significantly increase airway resistance and airway reactivity. Patients with asthma are 3 times more likely to also have GERD. [14] Some people with asthma have significant gastroesophageal reflux without esophageal symptoms. Gastroesophageal reflux was found to be a definite asthma-causing factor (defined by a favorable asthma response to medical antireflux therapy) in 64% of patients; clinically silent reflux was present in 24% of all patients. [14]


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