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Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can significantly impair health-related quality of life (QOL). In their study, F. Pace, MD, and colleagues assessed the effects of esomeprazole (a proton pump inhibitor) therapy on QOL in patients with GERD (n = 6017). Upon enrollment, patients received esomeprazole (40 mg/day) acutely for 4 weeks. If this treatment was successful, they were randomly assigned to 2 maintenance esomeprazole treatment strategies: continuous (20 mg/day) or on demand (for 6 months). QOL was measured at baseline by the generic Short-Form 36 Questionnaire and by a disease-specific instrument, QOL in Reflux and Dyspepsia (QOLRAD).
After the acute treatment phase, all QOLRAD dimensions showed statistically significant (P < .0001) and clinically meaningful improvement. There was a statistically significant but small difference in QOLRAD scores at the end of the maintenance phase in favor of the continuous versus the on-demand regimen. Improved QOL was maintained during the 6-month followup, with patients favoring the continuous- treatment strategy, according to a study in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics (September 2005).