Correlation of quality of life with gastroesophageal reflux disease amongst qashqai nomads in iran
Background: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is one of the most common gastrointestinal diseases encountered in today's clinic practice. GERD symptoms are troublesome and disruptive to the physical, social and emotional well-being of many patients. This is a cross-sectional study performed on Qashqai nomads of Fars Province in southern Iran to determine the impact of GERD on quality of life. Methods: We randomly selected 748 subjects over the age of 25 years. Subjects completed two questionnaires conducted by interviews. The first one consisted of questions on gastroesophageal reflux symptoms. The second questionnaire was the Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), a generic health-related quality of life instrument that consists of 36 items divided into eight dimensions. It has a 0- to 100-point scale where higher scores show better functioning and well-being. Results: Of 748 Qashqai migrating nomads who participated in the study, 717 subjects (mean age: 43 +/- 14.2 years) completed the GERD questionnaire and only 372 subjects completed the SF-36 questionnaire due to their busy lifestyles, and GERD was reported in 106 subjects (28.5%). For all dimensions of SF-36, the mean score was consistently lower in patients with GERD compared to non-GERD subjects (P < 0.001). The dimension most frequently impaired was role-physical (40.9 vs. 77.3) followed by role-emotional (44.7 vs. 77.5), physical functioning (66.9 vs. 84.6), and general health (46.8 vs. 63.8). An association existed between impairment in quality of life and frequency (P < 0.05), but not severity, of GERD symptoms. Conclusion: In this group of Qashqai nomads, all dimensions of health-related quality of life as measured by the SF-36 questionnaire were meaningfully impaired in subjects with symptomatic GERD compared to non-GERD subjects. There was an association between impaired quality of life and frequency, but not severity, of GERD.