Public Release:  Researchers discover correlation between GERD and obesity in females

World Journal of Gastroenterology

A group of scientists recently discovered an association between being overweightand a disease called gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) in women.

This discovery was published in the Sept. 14 issue of the World Journal of Gastroenterology by a research group led by Dr. Corazziari from the University ¡°La Sapienza¡± of Rome. Dr. Corazziari has been a leader in the field of gastroenterology for a long time and published over 200 research articles and 20 professional books. He and his fellow researchers (with Dr. Piretta being the first author of this article) discovered that, in comparison to average population, overweight and obesity are risk factors for GERD in women and not so much in men.

GERD is a disease with chronic symptoms or mucosal damage produced by the abnormal reflux of gastric contents into the esophagus. Heartburn (burning discomfort behind the breastbone) is the major symptom of GERD because the gastric acid gets into esophagus.

It is known that fatty foods produce a prolonged inhibitory effect on the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), particularly following intra-duodenal lipid perfusion, but this inhibitory effect would appear due to a cholecystokinin-mediated action on LES. An epidemiological study revealed that overweightedness, but not excess fatty food intake, increases the risk of hospitalisation for GERD. Gastric distention following a copious meal also relaxes LER and increases the possibility of GERD.

Had these mechanisms play big roles in the patients studied by Dr Corazziari, then the overweight male patients (not just female) should also have a significant higher possibility of GERD than general population.

Since oestrogen can also inhibit the LES, Dr. Corazziari suggests that concentration of this hormone may be a possible explanation of increased GERD prevalence in obese females.

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World J Gastroenterol 2007; 13(34): 4602-4605; http://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/13/4602.asp

Correspondence to: Professor Enrico Corazziari, Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche, Gastroenterologia A, Universit¨¤ di Roma ¡°La Sapienza¡±, Viale del Policlinico, 155-00161 Roma, Italy. enrico.corazziari@uniroma1.it Telephone: +39-6-49978384 Fax: +39-6-49978385

About World Journal of Gastroenterology

World Journal of Gastroenterology (WJG), a leading international journal in gastroenterology and hepatology, has established a reputation for publishing first class research on esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, viral hepatitis, colorectal cancer, and H pylori infection for providing a forum for both clinicians and scientists. WJG has been indexed and abstracted in Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, Science Citation Index Expanded (also known as SciSearch) and Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, Index Medicus, MEDLINE and PubMed, Chemical Abstracts, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Abstracts Journals, Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology and Hepatology, CAB Abstracts and Global Health. ISI JCR 2003-2000 IF: 3.318, 2.532, 1.445 and 0.993. WJG is a weekly journal published by WJG Press. The publication date is 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th day of every month. The WJG is supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 30224801 and No.30424812, and was founded with a name of China National Journal of New Gastroenterology on October 1, 1995, and renamed as WJG on January 25, 1998.

About The WJG Press

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