STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Nov 10, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Swedish researchers have found smoking and a high dietary salt intake significantly increase the risk of acid reflux, but tea and alcohol do not.
The scientists from Stockholm's prestigious Karolinska Hospital, in a study summarized in the journal Gut, based their work on 47,556 Norwegians.
The subjects were quizzed about their lifestyle, including diet, exercise, alcohol intake, and tobacco habit. Their responses were compared with those from 40,210 people without symptoms.
People who had smoked every day for more than 20 years were 70 percent more likely to have acid reflux than non-smokers. Salt intake proved to be as great a risk factor.
Surprisingly, heavy coffee drinkers (around 7 cups a day) were also about 40 percent less likely to develop acid reflux than those who drank one or fewer cups a day.
However, the authors noted people with acid reflux might abstain from coffee drinking, which could potentially skew the results.
But neither tea nor alcohol, no matter the volumes ingested, had any impact on risk.
Copyright 2004 by United Press International.