Background: The association between gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and hemodialysis
(HD) is unclear. We aimed to determine the prevalence of GERD in HD patients and to identify the risk
factors and effects of GERD in this patient population.
Methods: This retrospective study involved 432 HD patients who completed a questionnaire including a GERD symptom
assessment scale (QUEST). Clinical data were obtained by interviewing the patients and/or reviewing their medical
Results: GERD was diagnosed in 141 (32.64%) of the 432 HD patients by using a structured questionnaire scoring
system. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that low urine volume (odds ratio [OR]: 1.619, 95% confidence
interval [CI]: 1.046–2.505; P = 0.031), high serum creatinine level (OR: 1.694, 95% CI: 1.011–2.839; P = 0.045),
angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB)/angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI) administration (OR: 1.767, 95% CI:
1.13–2.746; P = 0.011) and the intradialytic complications of excessive hunger (OR: 1.652, 95% CI: 1.067–2.559;
P = 0.024), heartburn (OR: 6.235, 95% CI: 2.606–14.920; P = 0.000) and tinnitus (OR: 1.606, 95% CI: 1.029–2.507;
P = 0.037) were independent predictors of GERD, as detected using QUEST. The Spearman rank correlation analysis
showed that sodium bicarbonate consumption was positively correlated with serum total carbon dioxide level (r = 0.127,
P = 0.008), interdialytic weight gain (IDWG; r = 0.189, P = 0.000) and IDWG% (IDWG/estimated dry weight; r = 0.166,
P = 0.001).
Conclusions: The prevalence of GERD is higher in patients undergoing HD in our center than in the general population.
The risk factors for GERD in hemodialysis patients were low urine volume (<0.1 l/d), high serum creatinine level
(>9 mg/dl), ARB/ACEI administration and intradialytic hunger, heartburn and tinnitus. HD patients with GERD may take
excessive sodium bicarbonate, which increases IDWG%. Awareness of GERD and administration of PPIs were low in
HD patients. Routine PPI treatment would provide clinical benefits by reducing GERD symptoms, sodium bicarbonate
consumption and IDWG%.