Printer Friendly

GERD during pregnancy is common--and often overlooked.

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. -- Gastroesophageal reflux disease may be significantly underreported and undertreated in pregnant women, according to a poster presented at the annual meeting of the Central Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Dr. Houmam Al-Hakeem and his coinvestigators at Southern Illinois University in Springfield diagnosed the condition in 72 of 111 pregnant women screened with the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale Questionnaire, a measure validated in published studies.

The poster reported that a 2-week trial of conservative management, described as "the first line of treatment in pregnant women," failed to improve the cumulative scores of the women who had symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

GERD "is very common in pregnancy but at the same time it is very overlooked," Dr. Al-Hakeem said in an interview. Indeed, heartburn is so common, the researchers posited, that many patients and physicians think it is normal in pregnancy.

Conservative management, as prescribed in the study, consists of lifestyle changes such as not lying down after meals, not eating certain foods, raising the head of a person's bed, and taking antacids. Physicians know this does not work, and prescribe medication as a first-line treatment in GERD patients who are not pregnant, according to Dr. Al-Hakeem, who now practices in San Antonio. "Why are we waiting during pregnancy?" he asked. "Because we are afraid to give medicine."

He said the investigators have already begun the second phase of the study: a double-blind crossover trial of GERD treatments in a pregnant population. The study will look at fetal outcomes as well as reflux symptoms in patients treated with conservative management, pregnancy category B drugs Zantac and Prevacid, and a placebo. Dr. Al-Hakeem anticipated results would be available in about a year.

The 111 patients in the first phase were described as being in good health in a pregnancy of at least 24 weeks' gestation. Patients with documented history of GERD, esophageal disorders, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, hiatal hernia, peptic ulcer syndrome, and irritable bowel syndrome were excluded from the study.

Women were defined as GERD positive if they had a score of at least 4 on Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale questions specific to reflux. The investigators found no significant differences in ethnicity, education, tobacco use, or alcohol and drug use between the 72 women deemed to be GERD positive and the 39 women who were not.

BY JANE SALODOF MACNEIL

Southwest Bureau
COPYRIGHT 2006 International Medical News Group
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Obstetrics
Author:MacNeil, Jane Salodof
Publication:OB GYN News
Date:Feb 15, 2006
Words:392
Previous Article:Lamotrigine-birth defect link seen only in valproate combo.
Next Article:Just a few sentences can persuade pregnant women to use seat belts.
Topics:


Related Articles
Job stress: a risk for pregnant workers?
Infection, abnormal cervical competence: trimester of recurrent fetal loss sets evaluation.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD); Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).
Low levels of selenium may cause problems in pregnant women.
GERD common in pregnancy, yet often remains undertreated.
Recognizing stroke is a life or death issue.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD); Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD); Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).
Early pyelonephritis tied to lack of prenatal care.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters