Erosive reflux esophagitis caused a large clinical spectrum of symptoms. Our aim was to assess the prevalence of extra-esophageal symptoms in individuals with and those without erosive esophagitis in Albania.
A case–control study was conducted at the Regional Hospital of Durres, the second main district in Albania, a transitional country in South Eastern Europe, including 248 patients with erosive esophagitis (aged 46.5 ± 16.3 years) and 273 controls (aged 46.4 ± 16.0 years; response rate: 70%) enrolled during the period January 2013–June 2014. Both cases and controls underwent upper endoscopy. Information on socio-demographic characteristics and lifestyle factors was also collected. Binary logistic regression was used to assess the association of erosive esophagitis and extra-esophageal symptoms.
Patients with erosive esophagitis had a higher prevalence of excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, sedentarity, non-Mediterranean diet and obesity compared to their control counterparts (9% vs. 5%, 70% vs. 49%, 31% vs. 17%, 61% vs. 49% and 22% vs. 9%, respectively). Upon adjustment for all socio-demographic characteristics and lifestyle/behavioral factors, there was evidence of a strong association of erosive esophagitis with chronic cough (OR = 3.2, 95% CI = 1.7–5.8), and even more so with laryngeal disorders (OR = 4.4, 95% CI = 2.6–7.5). In all models, the association of erosive esophagitis with any extra-esophageal symptoms was strong and mainly consistent with each of the symptoms separately (fully-adjusted model: OR = 4.6, 95% CI = 2.9–7.3).