Risk factors for nocturnal reflux in a large GERD cohort

Srinivas Gaddam, Haripriya Maddur, Sachin Wani, Neil Gupta, Mandeep Singh, Vikas Singh, Brian Moloney, Srinivas R. Puli, Amit Rastogi, Ajay Bansal, Prateek Sharma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Nocturnal gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) has been associated with severe complications including erosive esophagitis, peptic stricture, and even esophageal adenocarcinoma and is known to cause a decreased health-related quality of life. However, there is limited information on independent predictors of nocturnal GERD. AIM: The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between nocturnal GERD and patient demographics, symptoms, clinical and endoscopic findings. Methods: Consecutive patients presenting to the gastrointestinal endoscopy unit for evaluation of GERD symptoms undergoing index endoscopy were asked to complete a validated GERD questionnaire. Demographics, clinical features, and endoscopic findings were recorded. Nocturnal GERD was defined as awakening at night by heartburn or acid regurgitation. Patient factors were compared using χ and Mann-Whitney U test. All factors that were statistically significant (P<0.05) were entered into a stepwise logistic regression to evaluate for independent predictors of nocturnal GERD. Results: Of 908 GERD patients evaluated, 665 (73.2%) reported nocturnal symptoms. The majority of the patients were male (93%) and White (83%) with a mean age of 57.2 years (SD 12.7). On univariate analysis, younger age, higher body mass index, daily heartburn, heartburn duration of >5 years, severe heartburn, daily regurgitation, regurgitation duration >5 years (all P<0.05), and presence of hiatal hernia (P=0.02) were significantly associated with the presence of nocturnal GERD. On multivariate analysis, severe heartburn [3.3 (2.1 to 5.1), P<0.01] and daily heartburn [1.5(1.1 to 2.3), P=0.03], daily regurgitation [2.2 (1.1 to 4.2), P=0.025], and regurgitation duration of >5 years [1.7 (1.2 to 2.4), P<0.01], and presence of hiatal hernia [1.4 (1.1 to 2.0), P=0.03] were all independent risk factors for nocturnal GERD. Conclusions: Results of this large prospective cohort study of GERD patients suggest that nocturnal symptoms are reported by 3 quarters of patients. Patients with frequent and severe daytime symptoms are significantly more likely to experience nocturnal symptoms. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of Barrett esophagus between patients with and without nocturnal GERD. Finally, presence of a hiatus hernia on endoscopy is also an independent risk factor for nocturnal GERD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)764-768
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 1 2011


  • gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • hiatus hernia
  • nocturnal symptoms
  • predictors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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