High prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux in vocal opera students. A case-control type study
Background. Opera singers are at risk to develop gastroesophageal reflux, because of the vocational challenges during singing. The singers are reluctant to be submitted to pH-metry fearing throat injuries. We evaluated the gastroesophageal reflux in vocal opera students using
a non-invasive salivary test.
Design and setting. A prospective, case-control study was carried out in 30 vocal opera students from the Music Academy of the city Cluj-Napoca, Romania, enrolled in the “canto” section.
Methods. For control, 20 medical students and residents were enrolled. Each subject filled in a questionnaire and gave saliva samples for the salivary test Peptest™ (RD Biomed). The statistical analysis was made using program R version 3.2.1 (2015-06-18).
Results. According to salivary Peptest, vocal opera students had a higher prevalence of gastro-esophageal reflux than the control group (96.67% versus 30%; 29 from 30 vs 14 from 20), P <0.001. Only 50% (15 of 30) of the vocal opera students reported reflux symptoms.
Conclusions. Salivary Peptest confirmed a higher prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux in vocal opera students, although not all of them reported reflux symptoms.