Soda, excess weight, sleeping pills associated with nighttime heartburn

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted May 23, 2005

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Nighttime gastroesophageal reflux is more likely among people who have a high body mass index, consume carbonated drinks, snore, have insomnia and use benzodiazepines to sleep.

Hypertension and asthma also can be linked to this condition, although college education reduced the likelihood of nighttime heartburn, according to a study published in the May Chest.

Researchers analyzed questionnaires answered by more than 15,000 participants in the Sleep Heart Health Study, a multicenter longitudinal study looking at the cardiovascular consequence of sleep-disordered breathing.

Those with a BMI of more than 30 were 95% more likely to have this condition. Insomnia was associated with a 129% increased risk, and asthma resulted in a 57% increase. At least one soft drink a day produced a 30% increase.

Experts said this study suggests that there could be lifestyle changes that might impact the development of this condition.

"Reducing consumption of carbonated soft drinks, replacing benzodiazepines with other types of sleeping pills and losing weight can all help reduce nighttime heartburn," said Paul A. Kvale, MD, president of the American College of Chest Physicians.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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