Although gastrointestinal (GI) complaints are common among patients with diabetes, the incidence of specific GI disorders in these patients is not clear. As published in the March 2004 issue of the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Tsutomu Nishida, MD, PhD, and colleagues asked 241 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus to complete a questionnaire on symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The patients' answers were compared with those of 42 patients with chronic hepatitis C infection. Results showed that 41.5% of patients with diabetes reported upper GI symptoms, compared with only 21.4% of those with chronic hepatitis C (P = .0137). In addition, the incidence of symptomatic GERD was significantly higher among patients with diabetes than among those with chronic hepatitis C (P = .0219). In fact, patients who had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus within the previous 5 years were 2.4 times more likely to have GERD than were patients with chronic hepatitis C. The authors concluded that a history of type 2 diabetes mellitus is a risk factor for symptomatic GERD.
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