For most patients, proton pump inhibitors do not control symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease, according to the findings of a large population-based survey study.
In all, 31% of respondents reported gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms within the past week, and 54% of those on proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) had breakthrough symptoms, said. In all, 54% of patients on PPIs for GERD reported having breakthrough symptoms of heartburn or regurgitation. Novel treatments are needed for patients with PPI-refractory symptoms of GERD, he and his associates wrote in .
Prior population-based U.S. studies have reported a lower prevalence (16%-28%) of weekly or monthly GERD symptoms, noted Dr. Delshad of the Cedars-Sinai Center for Outcomes Research and Education in Los Angeles. However, the study cohorts do not reflect current U.S. demographics — two were 82%-90% white and the third was 43% African American. The most recent data also were collected approximately 15 years ago, the researchers noted.
For the study, they deployed a mobile app that guides users through an automated, online assessment of GI symptoms called AEGIS. Respondents were asked to select any GERD symptoms they had ever experienced and any symptoms they had experienced in the past week. Options included heartburn, acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux, abdominal pain, bloating or gas, constipation, diarrhea, disrupted swallowing, fecal incontinence, nausea and vomiting, and “no symptoms.” All 71,812 respondents were recruited by a research firm and surveyed during a 3-week period in 2015.
In all, 44% of respondents reported having ever had heartburn, acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux, and 31% reported having GERD symptoms in the past week. In all, 55% of respondents who had ever experienced GERD symptoms were on PPIs, 24% were on histamine2 receptor blockers, and 24% were on antacid agents.
Among more than 3,000 participants on daily PPIs, 54% had persistent symptoms of GERD, which compares with the results of prior community-based studies, the investigators wrote. Current GERD symptoms and PPI-refractory GERD were especially prevalent among women, non-Hispanic whites, and individuals with comorbidities such as irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, and endometriosis.
In an adjusted analysis, Latinos were 2.44 times more likely to have PPI-refractory GERD ,compared with non-Hispanic whites. “The reason behind this finding is unclear but may be secondary to physiologic or even cultural etiologies,” the researchers wrote.
The more independent and functional middle-aged and older adults are more likely to respond to online surveys. Furthermore, although incentives were used to reduce participation bias, calling the tool a “GI Survey” could have made those with GI symptoms more likely to respond. The survey also did not assess if respondents were taking PPIs correctly or if they had made behavioral changes to mitigate GERD.
This study was sponsored by Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, whose bile acid sequestrant
SOURCE: Delshad SD et al. Gastroenterology. 2019 Dec 10.