The relationship between gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and mental health takes centre stage in a recent study, providing valuable insights into the impact of anxiety and depression on digestive health.

The study – Analysing the Correlation Between Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and Anxiety and Depression Based on Ordered Logistic Regression – delves into the intricate relationship between gastrointestinal health and mental wellbeing. Conducted retrospectively on 518 patients with typical gastroesophageal reflux symptoms, this research sheds light on the potential interplay between GERD severity and levels of anxiety and depression.

Set at a tertiary hospital in Chengdu City from December 2020 to May 2023, the study integrated data from 24-hour pH monitoring and scores obtained from the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). This comprehensive approach aimed to accurately assess the correlation between GERD severity and patients’ psychological states.

Key findings

Key findings revealed intriguing patterns. Researchers noted gender differences in anxiety levels, observing that males experienced significantly fewer instances of no-anxiety compared to females across different anxiety states. This observation underscores the influence of gender experiences and social factors on mood disorders.

Interestingly, while females generally exhibit higher susceptibility to anxiety and depression, logistic regression analysis showed a higher prevalence of GERD among males, highlighting a complex interplay of biological, psychological, and socio-cultural factors.

Moreover, age and educational level emerged as significant predictors of depression severity among GERD patients. Older age correlated with more severe depression, emphasising the impact of age-related hormonal changes on mental health. Similarly, lower educational levels were associated with a higher risk of depression, suggesting the influence of socio-economic factors on psychological wellbeing.

Further analyses revealed a compelling trend: as anxiety and depression severity increased, there was a corresponding rise in GERD incidence. Anxiety and moderate to severe depression were identified as significant risk factors for GERD development, reinforcing the importance of addressing psychological health in GERD management.

Additionally, body mass index (BMI) emerged as another risk factor for GERD, highlighting the importance of lifestyle modifications in disease prevention. However, factors like strong tea consumption, smoking, and alcohol intake showed inconsistent associations with GERD severity, warranting further investigation.

Study facts

While the study provides valuable insights, it is not without limitations. Recall bias and single-centre data collection may limit generalisability. Nonetheless, the findings underscore the need for holistic approaches to GERD management, considering both physical and psychological factors.

Moving forward, research efforts will focus on exploring psychological adjustment methods to alleviate symptoms and improve patients’ quality of life. By addressing both physical and psychological aspects, we can enhance GERD management and promote overall wellbeing.

For those seeking early diagnosis and personalised treatment, Peptest offers a reflux diagnostic test, providing invaluable support for individuals navigating GERD and related mental health challenges.

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