Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) affects up to 40% of adults, and most patients report that symptoms (heartburn, abdominal discomfort, dysphagia, belching, acid regurgitation) occur at night. Sleep disturbance results from volitional or noncognitive attempts at swallowing to clear the acid. Recently, N. Chand, MD, and colleagues evaluated the relationship between sleep abnormalities and GERD symptoms using subjective (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index [PSQI]) and objective (actigraphy) measures. Assessments were made on 18 adult patients with erosive GERD, at baseline and 4 and 8 weeks after treatment with esomeprazole 40 mg qd in the morning.
Results, published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics (November 2004), showed that only 11.1% of patients had normal PSQI scores at baseline; this increased significantly to 50% after 4 weeks and to 28% after 8 weeks of therapy. Median reflux syndrome score (heartburn, acid regurgitation) decreased significantly from 2 at baseline to 0 at weeks 4 and 8. No statistically significant differences in actigraphy scores were noted throughout the study. Although larger follow-up studies are ongoing, the authors conclude that esomeprazole control for GERD significantly improved patient sleep quality.