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    Opera Singers More Susceptible to Gastroesophageal Reflux

    If the condition is stress-induced, it may qualify as a work-related disease

    FRIDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- Opera singers have a higher prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux than the general population, a condition that may be related to the stress of their occupation, according to a study in the March issue of Gastroenterology.

    Giovanni Cammarota, M.D., of Catholic University of Medicine and Surgery in Rome, Italy, and colleagues conducted a study of 351 professional opera choristers and 578 matched controls recruited from the general population, and surveyed reflux symptoms for the past year, as well as lifestyle habits including smoking status and alcohol consumption.

    Among the opera singers, reflux symptoms such as heartburn, regurgitation, cough and hoarse voice were 1.60, 1,81, 1.40 and 2.45 times more prevalent, respectively, compared with the control group. There was an apparent association between regurgitation and cumulative lifetime duration of singing activity, as well as weekly level of singing activity.

    "Because a long duration of gastroesophageal reflux symptoms might compromise the continuation of the artistic career of choristers by negatively interfering with their professional performances, future studies based on pH-impedance recording will be needed to clarify whether gastroesophageal reflux symptoms and gastroesophageal reflux disease are stress-induced in these subjects and, therefore, represent a work-related disease of the opera chorister category," the authors conclude.

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