The Relationship Between GERD and Asthma

Kristi M. Issac, BS, PharmD, AE-C

Disclosures

US Pharmacist. 2009;34(7):30-35. 

In This Article

Introduction

Asthma is a chronic airway disease characterized by airflow obstruction, bronchial hyperresponsiveness, and inflammation.[1] There are many triggers and comorbid conditions that have been shown to increase asthma symptoms and/or precipitate asthma exacerbations. The Expert Panel Report 3: Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma recognizes gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) as a comorbid condition of asthma and recommends medical management of GERD in appropriate patients.[1]

The relationship between asthma and GERD has been discussed for many years. In 1892, Sir William Osler described an association: "severe paroxysms of asthma may be induced by overloading the stomach, or by taking certain articles of food."[2] Although these two disorders often occur together, the relationship between GERD and asthma remains unclear. This article will review the prevalence, proposed pathophysiology, and treatment recommendations for persons with both asthma and GERD.

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