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Is There Any Association Between Myocardial Infarction, Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease And Acid-suppressing Drugs?

S. Johansson, M. Wallander, A. Ruigómez, L. Garcia Rodriguez
Published 2003 · Medicine
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BACKGROUND A link between gastro-oesophageal reflux disease and coronary heart disease has been suggested. AIM To estimate the incidence of myocardial infarction in patients with newly diagnosed gastro-oesophageal reflux disease in comparison with that in the general population. METHODS A population-based cohort study was performed in the UK. Patients aged 18-79 years with a first diagnosis of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (n = 7084) were identified and a group of 10,000 patients free of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease were sampled. A nested case-control analysis was performed to assess the risk factors for myocardial infarction. RESULTS The incidence of myocardial infarction in the general population was 4.0 per 1,000 person-years [95% confidence interval (CI), 3.2-4.9] and 5.1 per 1,000 person-years (95% CI, 4.1-6.4) in patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. The relative risk of myocardial infarction in patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease was 1.4 (95% CI, 1.0-1.9). The increased risk of myocardial infarction was limited to the immediate days after the diagnosis of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. Previous chest pain was an important predictor of myocardial infarction in patients free of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. No association was found between the use of acid-suppressing drugs and the risk of myocardial infarction. CONCLUSION Our results suggest that gastro-oesophageal reflux disease is not an independent predictor of myocardial infarction. Rather, the increased risk of myocardial infarction in patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease in the immediate days after diagnosis indicates that prodromal ischaemic symptoms were misinterpreted as reflux symptoms.
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