Both asthma and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are common, often coexist, and have significant impact on a patient's quality of life. Our aim was to determine the prevalence of GERD in asthmatic patients at a major hospital in Hong Kong, and to examine the impact of GERD and its association with asthma control.
Patients with asthma who attended the respiratory clinic at Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong, were recruited. Demographic data were collected, and a validated Chinese GERD questionnaire was used. The Medical Outcomes Study 36-item short form (SF-36) was used to assess quality of life, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was used to assess psychological status. Asthma control was assessed by the asthma control test.
A total of 218 patients were recruited; 40.4% of asthmatic patients (88 patients) had GERD, as defined by the GERD questionnaire. Compared with those patients without GERD, those with GERD had significantly worse asthma control (p = 0.022), worse quality of life in all domains of the SF-36 (all p < 0.01), and more anxiety (6.82 vs 4.90, respectively; p < 0.001) and depression (6.09 vs 4.05, respectively; p < 0.001) as reflected by HADSs.
A significant proportion of asthmatic patients in Hong Kong have GERD, and this is associated with poorer asthmatic control, quality of life, and psychological status.