Background: Obesity is associated with increased risk of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Goal: To evaluate the effect of obesity on symptom resolution in patients with nonerosive reflux disease (NERD) and healing rates in patients with erosive esophagitis (EE).
Methods: Two post hoc analyses were performed. Analyses included pooled data from randomized, double-blind, multicenter studies of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) in GERD patients.
Results: Analysis 1 included 704 patients with NERD receiving esomeprazole 20 mg, esomeprazole 40 mg, or placebo. Analysis 2 included 11,027 patients with EE receiving esomeprazole 40 mg, omeprazole 20 mg, or lansoprazole 30 mg. For NERD patients, no significant association between baseline heartburn severity and body mass index (BMI) was observed. In EE patients, overweight (BMI 25 to <35 kg/m2) and obese (BMI ≥35 kg/m2) patients had significantly higher rates of Los Angeles (LA) grade C or D EE than patients with BMI <25 kg/m2 (P<0.0001). Percentages of PPI-treated patients who achieved heartburn resolution or EE healing within a given LA grade were similar across BMI categories. Heartburn resolution was significantly associated with treatment (esomeprazole vs. placebo), increasing age, and for men versus women (all P≤0.0284). EE healing was significantly associated with PPI treatment (esomeprazole and lansoprazole vs. omeprazole), increasing age, race, presence of a hiatal hernia, and lower LA grade at baseline (all P≤0.0183).
Conclusions: In patients with GERD, high BMI was associated with more severe EE at baseline. However, during PPI treatment, BMI is not a significant independent predictor of heartburn resolution or EE healing.