The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Got GERD? Watch your weight.

    The risk of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is directly linked to a woman’s body mass index (BMI), according to the results of a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

    Among more than 10,000 women studied, those who started at a normal weight but gained a moderate amount of weight over a 14-year period faced an increased risk of GERD.

    For example, compared with women whose BMI remained constant over the previous 14 years, the risk of GERD more than doubled among those whose BMI increased by more than 3.5. Alternatively, the risk decreased nearly 40% among those whose BMI decreased by more than 3.5.

    This is not the first time this association was observed.

    Last year, a review of nine earlier studies identified significant associations between increasing BMI and GERD symptoms. In addition, there was an increased risk for erosive esophagitis, esophageal adenocarcinoma, and gastric cardia adenocarcinoma.

    The significance of this latest study is that BMI was a risk factor even after adjusting for other factors including age, smoking, physical activity, intake of alcohol, coffee, tea and chocolate, as well as hormone replacement therapy, hypertension, asthma, and diabetes.

    In other words, there’s no excuse for not including diet and exercise as part of a comprehensive treatment of GERD. It’s an important update to an earlier post on this blog.

    Illustration: New York Methodist Hospital Heartburn (GERD) Program

    9/5/06 21:11 JR

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