Bethesda, MD, September 1, 2005 -- The first major multi-center,randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial addressing therapyfor gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) related sleep disorders ispublished in the September issue of The American Journal ofGastroenterology. This study demonstrated that effective acidsuppression therapy with a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), either 20 mgsor 40 mgs of esomeprazole, relieved nighttime heartburn symptoms andGERD-related sleep disturbances, which significantly improved sleepquality and thereby improved work productivity.
The researchers found that nighttime heartburn was relieved in 53.1percent, 50.5 percent and 12.7 percent of patients who receivedesomeprazole 40 mg, esomeprazole 20 mg and placebo, respectively.Additionally, GERD-related sleep disturbances resolved in significantlymore patients who received therapy than those who received placebo. Thehigh percentage of patients with resolutions of sleep disturbances inthe current trial was both statistically and clinically significant.
"Sleep problems are extremely common in patients with GERD and areoften unrecognized," said lead author David A. Johnson, M.D., FACG,Professor of Medicine and Chief of Gastroenterology at Eastern VirginiaMedical School who serves as the Vice President of the American Collegeof Gastroenterology. For those with frequent and moderate-to-severesymptoms, GERD has a significant negative impact on sleep. "Anyonewho's had a poor night's rest knows how much that impacts theirperformance the next day. We found that nighttime heartburn is atreatable condition that responds to effective, acid-suppressivemedical therapy such as esomeprazole."
Additionally, an estimate by the American College of Gastroenterologybased on findings from this study reveals that U.S. workers whofrequently suffer from moderate-to-severe nighttime heartburn symptomscost the U.S. economy $1,920,528,315 per week in paid hours of lostproductivity.
According to Dr. Johnson, "Physicians treating patients with acidreflux therefore need to ask about sleep problems and furthermore toask how patients feel when they wake up the next day. Daytime fatigue,irritability, concentration problems may all suggest a problem withrestful sleep. Appropriate recognition of this will lead to appropriatetherapy." He continued, "Sleep quality should be included as animportant goal for optimal disease management of GERD. Even more so ina time of emphasis on quality management and achieving the bestoutcomes in medical care, this study demonstrates that appropriatetreatment for GERD is an investment which has profound quality benefitsfor patients and economic benefits for employers."
According to the American College of Gastroenterology, approximately 20percent of U.S. adults suffer from weekly heartburn symptoms. The ACG,using data from a Gallup poll, estimates that 79 percent of heartburnsufferers have nighttime symptoms, of whom 50 percent have symptomsthat are moderate to severe.
Full-text of the Johnson study can be accessed through the American Journal of Gastroenterology athttp://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1572-0241.2005.00285.x
Visit the American Journal of Gastroenterology Web site at www.blackwellpublishing.com/ajg.
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