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Chronic Heartburn Could Spur Asthma in Some Patients
Date:1/25/2013

MII testing in adults with asthma that is not responding to asthma medications or in those who also have GERD symptoms, he said.

One expert wasn't surprised by the findings.

"GERD is a common condition affecting millions of Americans," noted Dr. David Bernstein, gastroenterologist and chief of the division of hepatology at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y. He said that "reflux of gastric acid through the esophagus and into the lungs is a common cause of chronic cough and asthma."

But it may be too early to advocate for widespread diagnostic testing using the new method, he added.

"This new technique is interesting and needs to be further evaluated before it can replace currently accepted diagnostic techniques," Bernstein said.

However, he believes that surgery is not always warranted for patients with reflux-linked asthma symptoms.

"Surgery for GERD-induced asthma is seldom necessary due to the ability of high-dose anti-acid medications in controlling the vast majority of reflux cases," Bernstein contends. "It is premature to recommend anti-reflux surgery without an adequate trial of anti-acid medications."

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more about GERD.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCES: David Bernstein, M.D., gastroenterologist and chief, division of hepatology, North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, N.Y; West Penn Allegheny Health System, news release, Jan. 23, 2013


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