Esophageal acid exposure shorter with left lateral sleep position

(HealthDay)—During sleep, the left lateral decubitus position is associated with shorter esophageal acid exposure time and faster esophageal acid clearance, according to a study published in the February issue of The American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Jeroen M. Schuitenmaker, M.D., from University Medical Centers Amsterdam, and colleagues measured the concurrent sleep position using a sleep position measurement device in 57 patients referred for ambulatory pH-impedance reflux monitoring and examined the impact of sleep position on nocturnal gastroesophageal reflux.

The researchers found that compared with the right lateral position and the supine position, acid exposure time was significantly shorter in the left lateral position (median, 0.0% versus 1.2 and 0.6%, respectively). Significantly shorter esophageal acid clearance time was seen in the left lateral decubitus position versus the supine and right lateral positions (median, 35 seconds versus 76 and 90 seconds, respectively).

“These findings provide a rationale for interventions aiming to promote the left lateral decubitus sleep position to alleviate nocturnal esophageal acid exposure and reflux symptoms,” the authors write.

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