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Eliminate heartburn, improve life

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BETHESDA, Md., Sep 07, 2005 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Scientists have concluded eliminating heartburn symptoms can improve sleep quality, as well as improve work productivity.

The conclusions come from the first major multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial addressing therapy for gastroesophageal reflux disease and related sleep disorders.

The study -- published in the September issue of The American Journal of Gastroenterology -- demonstrated that effective acid suppression therapy with a proton pump inhibitor, with either 20 or 40 milligrams of esomeprazole, relieved nighttime heartburn symptoms and GERD-related sleep disturbances.

Researchers said that, in turn, significantly improved sleep quality and thereby improved work productivity.

"Sleep problems are extremely common in patients with GERD and are often unrecognized," said lead author Dr. David Johnson, chief of gastroenterology at Eastern Virginia Medical School, who also serves as the Vice President of the American College of Gastroenterology.

He said for those with frequent and moderate-to-severe symptoms, GERD has a significant negative impact on sleep.

Johnson said the study indicates nighttime heartburn is a treatable condition that responds to effective, acid-suppressive medical therapy.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International.

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