Original Articles
Copyright ©The Author(s) 1999. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Oct 15, 1999; 5(5): 421-423
Published online Oct 15, 1999. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v5.i5.421
Gastroesophageal reflux: the features in elderly patients
Xun Huang, Hui-Ming Zhu, Chuan-Zhen Deng, G. Bianchi Porro, O. Sangaletti, F. Pace
Xun Huang, Hui-Ming Zhu, Chuan-Zhen Deng, Department of Gastroenterology, Shenzhen People¡äs Hospital, Shenzhen 518020, Guangdong Province, China
G. Bianchi Porro, O. Sangaletti, F. Pace, Gastrointestinal Unit, L. Sacco, Milan University, Milan, Italy
Xun Huang, female, born on 1960-05-19 in Shanghai, graduated from Shanghai Medical University, now associate professor of gastroenterology, having 5 papers published.
Author contributions: All authors contributed equally to the work.
Correspondence to: Xun Huang, Department of Gastroenterology, Shenzhen People’s Hospital, Shenzhen 518001, Guangdong Province, China
Telephone: +86·755·5533018 Fax: +86·755·5533497
Received: March 6, 1999
Revised: July 20, 1999
Accepted: September 23, 1999
Published online: October 15, 1999

AIM: To compare the features of gastroesophageal reflux disease between elderly and younger patients.

METHODS: Twenty-four hour pH-monitoring and endoscopy were per formed for the 66 elderly patients with typical gastroesophageal reflux symptoms, and the results were compared with 112 symptomatic younger patients.

RESULTS: The results of 24-h pH-monitoring and endoscopy showe d that the elderly patients had pathological reflux and reflux esophagitis more frequently than the younger patients. Percentage time with pH < 4 in elderly patients with reflux esophagitis was 32.5% in 24 h, as compared with 12.9% in the younger patients with reflux esophagitis (P < 0.05). The elderly patients with reflux esophagitis have longer periods of acid reflux in both upright and supine positions than the younger patients. Endoscopy showed that 20.8% of elderly patients had grade III/IV esophagitis, whereas only 3.4% of younger patients had grade III/IV esophagitis (P < 0.002). Percentages of grades I/II esophagitis in the two groups were 12.5% and 26.5%, respectively (P < 0.002).

CONCLUSION: Elderly patients, as compared with younger patients, have more severe gastroesophageal reflux and esophageal lesions. The incompetence of lower esophageal sphincter and the presence of hiatal hernia may be important factors leading to the difference in incidence and severity of reflux esophagitis between elderly and younger patients.

Keywords: gastroesophageal reflux, esophagitis, hiatal hernia