ORLANDO, Fla., May 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A study presented at Digestive Disease Week® (DDW) suggests that more objective testing may substantially reduce the cost and risk of managing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
GERD is believed to affect nearly 25 percent of adults. Researchers at New York Presbyterian Hospital and Weill-Cornell Medical College found that almost a third of patients undergoing treatment have no measurable signs of the chronic condition and projected savings up to $7,300 per patient over 10 years if diagnostic guidelines were changed.
"Many patients remain on proton-pump inhibitors for years after the trial period without any confirmation that they are being treated for the right diagnosis," said David Kleiman, MD, a research fellow in the department of surgery at New York Presbyterian Hospital.
Methods for diagnosing and treating GERD, which occurs when stomach acid or bile flows back into the food pipe from the stomach, remain controversial. Most guidelines recommend an 8-week trial of proton-pump inhibitors (PPI) to reduce acid secretion.
Dr. Kleiman and colleagues found that 32 percent of individuals who were taking PPIs had no objective signs of GERD — pointing to unnecessary spending on medication and increased risk from prolonged PPI use.
The study compared this approach with 24-hour esophageal pH monitoring, in which a small tube is passed through the nose into the stomach to track acid levels. The benefits seen from pH monitoring in this study show that it should be strongly considered for patients immediately after their PPI trial.
Digestive Disease Week® (DDW) is the largest international gathering of physicians, researchers and academics in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery. Jointly sponsored by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) and the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract (SSAT), DDW takes place May 18 to 21, 2013, at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL. The meeting showcases more than 5,000 abstracts and hundreds of lectures on the latest advances in GI research, medicine and technology. www.ddw.org
SOURCE Digestive Disease Week