S Yuan & S C Larsson, 2022. Adiposity, diabetes, lifestyle factors and risk of gastroesophageal reflux disease: a Mendelian randomization study, European Journal of Epidemiology, published online.

July 2, 2022


Adiposity, diabetes, and lifestyle factors are linked to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in observational studies. We conducted a two-sample Mendelian randomization analysis to determine whether those associations are causal. Independent genetic variants associated with body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (with and without adjustment for BMI), type 2 diabetes, smoking, and alcohol, coffee and caffeine consumption at the genome-wide significance level were selected as instrumental variables. Summary-level data for GERD were available from a genome-wide association meta-analysis of 71,522 GERD cases and 261,079 controls of European descent from the UK Biobank and QSkin Sun and Health studies. The odds ratio (OR) of GERD was 1.49 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.40-1.60) for one standard deviation (SD) increase in BMI, 1.07 (95% CI, 1.04-1.10) for one-unit increase in log-transformed OR of type 2 diabetes, and 1.41 (95% CI, 1.31-1.52) for one SD increase in prevalence of smoking initiation. There were suggestive associations with GERD for higher genetically predicted waist circumference (OR per one SD increase, 1.14, 95% CI, 1.02-1.26) and caffeine consumption (OR per 80 mg increase, 1.08, 95% CI, 1.02-1.15). Genetically predicted waist circumference adjusted for BMI, alcohol or coffee consumption was not associated GERD. This study suggests causal roles of adiposity, diabetes, and smoking, and a possible role of high caffeine consumption in the development of GERD.


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