Page last updated: December 4, 2018
Alcohol consumption and the risk of gastroesophageal reflux disease

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a prevalent disease, and the incidence is rising. Epidemiologic evidence on alcohol consumption increasing the risk of GERD has been contradictory. A study investigated the correlation between alcohol consumption and GERD in a meta-analysis of observational studies.

Relevant studies were retrieved from PubMed, Cochrane and EMBASE databases. Twenty-six cross-sectional studies and three case-control studies were identified for inclusion. The summary odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated by random effects model to assess the association. The meta-analysis indicated that there was a significant association between alcohol consumption and the risk of GERD.

For drinkers, the OR was 1.48 (95%CI, 1.31-1.67; I2 = 88.8%) compared to non-/occasional drinkers. For reflux esophagitis and non-erosive reflux disease, two subtypes of GERD, the ORs were 1.78 (95%CI, 1.56-2.03; I2 = 87.5%) and 1.15 (95%CI, 1.04-1.28; I2 = 0.3%), respectively. In addition, the pooled OR for drinkers who drank <3-5 times or days per week was 1.29 (95%CI, 1.14-1.46; I2 = 35.5%), while for those who drank more frequently, the OR was 2.12 (95%CI, 1.63-2.75; I2 = 55.1%). Dose-response analysis showed a linear association between alcohol consumption and GERD. The pooled OR for a 12.5 g/day increment of alcohol was 1.16 (95%CI, 1.07-1.27; P = 0.001).

This meta-analysis provides evidence for a potential association between alcohol drinking and the risk of GERD. An increase in alcohol consumption and frequency showed a stronger association with GERD. This finding provides important implications for the prevention and control of GERD.

Source: Alcohol Consumption and the Risk of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Pan J, Cen L, Chen W, Yu C, Li Y, Shen Z. Alcohol Alcohol. 2018 Sep 4.

doi.org/10.1093/alcalc/agy063
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