(HealthDay News) — Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can increase the risk of lung cancer, according to a study published in Cancer Medicine.

Researchers analyzed 129,080 GERD patients and 473,524 control individuals to identify 80 single nucleotide polymorphisms that were significantly linked to GERD. The researchers also analyzed genome-wide association studies of 11,348 patients with lung cancer and 15,861 control individuals.

To examine the potential causative association between GERD and lung cancer, the researchers used 3 Mendelian randomization (MR) statistical techniques.

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Based on the main inverse variance weighted (IVW) method, GERD substantially increased the risk of lung cancer (odds ratio [OR], 1.37; 95% CI 1.16–1.63, P =.0003). This was supported by weighted median and MR-Egger analyses.

Similar causal relationships were seen between GERD and squamous cell lung cancer (OR, 1.56; 95% CI 1.26–1.93, P = 5.35 × 10−5) and lung adenocarcinoma (OR, 1.45; 95% CI 1.09–1.93, P =.01) using IVW estimates.

“The results of our study indicated that starting treatment as early as possible after the diagnosis of GERD was essential to provide the best clinical outcome and avoid possible complication, such as lung cancer,” the study authors wrote. “Additionally, early screening for the risk of lung cancer in GERD patients should be recommended, which may be beneficial in allowing more lung cancer patients earlier diagnosis and curative treatment.”

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