Patients with stroke are at higher risk for GERD

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  • This retrospective study finds a significantly higher risk for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in patients with stroke vs those without.
  • Risk persisted irrespective of ischaemic or haemorrhagic type and in patients receiving antiplatelet therapy.

Why this matters

  • With markedly higher GERD prevalence reported in patients with stroke, clinicians need to be aware of existing symptoms, particularly in patients with co-morbidities and those receiving multi-drug treatment.

Study design

  • Study used population-based dataset and evaluated 18,412 patients with newly diagnosed stroke and 18,412 patients without stroke.
  • Funding: Taiwan Ministry of Health and Welfare Clinical Trial and Research Center of Excellence.

Key results

  • During a mean follow-up period of 6.05 years, patients with stroke were at 1.51-fold (95% CI, 1.40-1.67) higher risk for GERD.
  • Risk persisted for ischaemic (aHR, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.39-1.67) and haemorrhagic (aHR, 1.45; 95% CI, 1.22-1.71) stroke.
  • GERD was positively associated with stroke (aHR, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.38-1.65), male sex (aHR, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.21-1.42), age ≥65 years (aHR, 1.11; 95% CI, 1.02-1.21), hyperlipidaemia (aHR, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.04-1.25), renal disease (aHR, 1.45; 95% CI, 1.30-1.62) and use of aspirin (aHR, 2.34; 95% CI, 2.10-2.65) and dipyridamole (aHR, 1.30, 95% CI, 1.15-1.48).


  • Use of administrative claims data.
  • Useful patient information like smoking, alcohol consumption, dietary factors and BMI unavailable.