Is Nighttime Heartburn a Drag on America’s Economy?

As healthcare costs continue to rise in America, some employers have embraced new programs and preventative measures. On-site gyms and massage therapists, yoga classes and free visits with nutritionists may not be the norm but smart companies know that healthy employees can mean less sick days and a boost to the bottom line.

Thus, a new study released in September 2005 by the American College of Gastroenterology underscored how crucial a healthy workforce is. After finding that nighttime heartburn costs the U.S. economy more than $1.9 billion in lost worker productivity every week, the ACG asked Tobin Communications, Inc. to publicize this fact.

“Sleep problems are extremely common in patients with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and are often unrecognized,” said the study’s author, Dr. David A. Johnson. He is professor of medicine and chief of gastroenterology at Eastern Virginia Medical School and also serves as vice president of the ACG.

For those with frequent and moderate to severe symptoms, GERD has a significant negative impact on sleep, the study revealed. During a Radio Media Tour handled by TCI, campaign spokesperson, Dr. William C. Orr, encouraged radio listeners to visit the ACG Web site,, and to get more information about nighttime heartburn and available resources and treatment.