Pharmacologic treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) resulted in a significant reduction in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)-related mortality and improved transplant-free survival, according to the results of a meta-analysis published in CHEST.

GERD is common in IPF, affecting up to 90% of patients, and some evidence has suggested that microaspiration may act as an inciting event for exacerbations, altering the natural history of the disease. However, a causal relationship between GERD and IPF has not yet been confirmed.

Lee Fidler, MD, FRCPC, of the Department of Medicine, Division of Respirology, University Health Network in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and colleagues performed a systematic review and meta-analysis using randomized and observational studies that evaluated the effects of pharmacologic or nonpharmacologic treatment for GER in patients with IPF.