Patients with even mild-to-moderate COPD are more likely to suffer from gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), according to new research.

When looking at 50 patients (82% men) with mild-to-moderate COPD, researchers discovered that more than three quarters had GERD. Among symptomatic patients, 11had distal gastro-esophageal reflux and 20 had both distal and proximal reflux. Six members of the asymptomatic group had distal reflux and 2 had both distal and proximal reflux.

Participants, all of whom were smokers aged more than 40 years, were assessed over a 1-year period. GERD symptoms were assessed using questionnaires, and all of the patients underwent 24-hour esophageal pH monitoring.