Heartburn in young patients with IBS linked to sleep, psychiatric disturbances: Study
USA: The presence of heartburn in children with functional dyspepsia (FD) and/or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is associated with sleep disturbances, depression, anxiety, increased GIT symptoms, a recent study has found.
"A better knowledge of these associations may help in personalized treatment of pediatric patients with abdominal pain and heartburn as a primary symptom," the authors wrote in the journal Medicine.
The overlap of symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), FD, and IBS predicts greater symptom severity and decreased quality of life and provides opportunities for improved personalized therapeutics and diagnostic classification.
Against the above background, Jennifer Colombo, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Children's Mercy Kansas City, and colleagues aimed to assess the relationship of heartburn in pediatric patients with functional dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome with gastrointestinal symptoms, sleep disturbances, and psychologic distress.
For this purpose, the researchers conducted a cross-sectional observational study of 260 pediatric patients with abdominal pain. Patients completed standardized questionnaires assessing clinical symptoms, sleep quality, and psychologic symptoms during routine clinical care. The researcher then compared the questionnaire data for patients reporting heartburn and not reporting heartburn.
Key findings of the study include:
- Gastrointestinal symptoms were significantly more prevalent among patients with a positive report of heartburn (vs a negative report of heartburn): pain with eating (83% vs 67%), bloating (63% vs 44%), acid regurgitation (47% vs 24%), and chest pain (45% vs 20%).
- Initiating and maintaining sleep, arousal/nightmares, sleep-wake transition, hyperhidrosis during sleep, and anxiety and depression were also significantly increased in patients who reported heartburn versus patients who did not report heartburn.
"Patients with a positive report of heartburn, whether classified as having FD and/or IBS, had increased gastrointestinal symptoms, sleep disturbances, anxiety, and depression than patients with a negative report of heartburn," wrote the authors. "A better understanding of these associations may allow for personalized treatment for youth with abdominal pain and heartburn as a primary symptom."
The study titled, "Heartburn in children and adolescents in the presence of functional dyspepsia and/or irritable bowel syndrome correlates with the presence of sleep disturbances, anxiety, and depression," is published in the journal Medicine.