Relationship between upper gastrointestinal symptoms and changes in body weight in a population-based cohort

F. Cremonini, G. R. Locke, C. D. Schleck, A. R. Zinsmeister, N. J. Talley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Obesity has been associated with increased reporting of gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, but whether weight gain or loss causes symptoms is unclear. We studied the association between changes in body weight and changes in upper GI symptoms. Prospective cohort study on random samples of Olmsted County, MN residents. Distinct upper GI symptom complexes [gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD), chest pain, dyspepsia- pain predominant, dyspepsia-dysmotility] were defined. Subjects with persistent, new-onset or disappearing symptoms were identified as cases, subjects with no reported symptoms in any of the surveys served as controls. Associations were studied in a logistic regression model, using age, gender, baseline Body Mass Index and somatic symptom score as covariates. Participants for whom baseline and follow-up data were available (n = 637) had a median time between surveys of 10.5 years. Baseline body weight was associated with GERD, chest pain and dyspepsia-pain predominant symptom complexes. An increase in body weight >10 lb between surveys was associated with new onset of dyspepsia-dysmotility (OR 5.57, 95% CI 1.91, 16.2). No association was found between weight loss >10 lb and the studied symptom complexes. Moderate body weight increases and decreases are generally not associated with upper GI symptom changes over time in the general population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)987-994
Number of pages8
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2006


  • Chest pain
  • Dyspepsia
  • Gastro-oesophageal reflux
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Natural history
  • Obesity
  • Symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Gastroenterology


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