<p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) symptoms are common in asthma and have been extensively studied, but less so in the Asian continent. Reflux-associated respiratory symptoms (RARS) have, in contrast, been little-studied globally. We report the prevalence of GORD symptoms and RARS in adult asthmatics, and their association with asthma severity and medication use.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>A cross-sectional analytical study. A validated interviewer-administered GORD scale was used to assess frequency and severity of seven GORD symptoms. Subjects were consecutive asthmatics attending medical clinics. Controls were matched subjects without respiratory symptoms.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>The mean (SD) composite GORD symptom score of asthmatics was significantly higher than controls (21.8 (17.2) versus 12.0 (7.6); <it>P </it>< 0.001) as was frequency of each symptom and RARS. Prevalence of GORD symptoms in asthmatics was 59.4% (95% CI, 59.1%-59.6%) versus 28.5% in controls (95% CI, 29.0% - 29.4%). 36% of asthmatics experienced respiratory symptoms in association with both typical and atypical GORD symptoms, compared to 10% of controls (<it>P </it>< 0.001). An asthmatic had a 3.5 times higher risk of experiencing a GORD symptom after adjusting for confounders (OR 3.5; 95% CI 2.5-5.3). Severity of asthma had a strong dose-response relationship with GORD symptoms. Asthma medication use did not significantly influence the presence of GORD symptoms.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>GORD symptoms and RARS were more prevalent in a cohort of Sri Lankan adult asthmatics compared to non-asthmatics. Increased prevalence of RARS is associated with both typical and atypical symptoms of GORD. Asthma disease and its severity, but not asthma medication, appear to influence presence of GORD symptoms.</p
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