In children with both asthma and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), treating the latter can improve the former, according to the research.
GERD is a common disease in which fluid from the stomach backs up into the esophagus, typically causing chronic heartburn and other symptoms, which can lead to erosion of the esophagus.
In addition to drugs that reduce the secretion of this acidic fluid, GERD may be treated with a type of surgery called fundoplication that tightens the junction between the esophagus and stomach.
Previous studies in adults have suggested that as many as four out of five asthmatics experience the chronic cough and hoarseness of acid reflux.
While the connections between asthma and GERD remain unclear, researchers have noticed that antireflux medications can sometimes help asthma symptoms.
“About two thirds of patients with asthma have underlying reflux and GERD has been implicated in provoking asthma,” Dr. Vikram Khoshoo, a pediatric gastroenterologist from West Jefferson Medical Center, New Orleans, who was involved in the study, told.
To investigate this relationship further, he and his colleagues had 62 children, between 6 and 11 years old, with asthma undergo esophageal acid testing.
Forty-four children with abnormal results suggestive of GERD received anti-reflux therapy (either medical or surgical), while the remaining 18 patients served as the comparison group and continued their asthma regimen.
Read more at Reuters