Professional opera choristers, professional wind players and glassblowers have a higher prevalence of reflux symptoms compared with control subjects. Gastroesophageal reflux in these professions should be considered as a work-related disorder that may have an impact on quality of life and may negatively interfere with professional performance.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: Work-Related Disease?
István Preguna, Tamás Bakucza, János Banaib, László Molnárc, Gábor Pavlikd, István Altorjaye, Péter Oroszf, László Csernayg, Zsolt Tulassaya, László Herszényia. Dig Dis 2009;27:38-44 (DOI: 10.1159/000210102)
Background: An occupation-related susceptibility of professional singers to experience gastroesophageal reflux has been suggested.
Aims: To investigate the prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux symptoms in a series of professional opera choristers, wind players, glassblowers and water polo players in comparison with a sample of general population.
Subjects and Methods: A total of 202 professional opera choristers from well-known choirs in different Hungarian regions, 71 professional wind players, 43 glassblowers, 54 water polo players were identified and 115 control subjects were compared prospectively. Reflux symptoms together with selected individual characteristics and lifestyle habits were investigated in study groups through a reflux questionnaire.
- Professional opera choristers reported a statistically significantly higher prevalence of heartburn, regurgitation and hoarseness than control subjects (p < 0.001).
- Among professional wind players, heartburn and regurgitation were significantly more frequent compared with controls (p < 0.05 and p < 0.01, respectively).
- Glassblowers reported a significantly higher prevalence of acid regurgitation in comparison with controls (p < 0.01).
- The prevalence of reflux symptoms in water polo players was similar to that of controls.
In opera choristers, wind players and glassblowers, reflux symptoms appeared to be significantly correlated with the cumulative lifetime duration of professional singing, playing and working activity, respectively (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that professional opera choristers, professional wind players and glassblowers have a higher prevalence of reflux symptoms compared with control subjects. Gastroesophageal reflux in these professions should be considered as a work-related disorder that may have an impact on quality of life and may negatively interfere with professional performance.