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Online Poll Reveals Top Causes Of Stress For Denver Residents

Armen Hareyan's picture

A new online poll of more than 1,500 Denver residents conducted by KOOL-FM radio reveals that traffic from the daily commute and the cost of living are the leading causes of stress in Denver.

The poll also found that Denver residents are most likely to react to stress by eating unhealthy foods or getting less sleep. Eisai Inc. and PriCara, Unit of Ortho-McNeil, Inc., sponsored the poll as part of a program about acid reflux disease that they are conducting in Denver.

While stress affects people in a variety of ways, everyone experiences stress at some point in life. Stress can even lead to behaviors that may aggravate symptoms of certain conditions, such as acid reflux disease, which affects more than 7 million Americans. Conversely, engaging in healthy behaviors in response to stress may prevent symptoms of reflux from getting worse.

"Stress from things you can't control, like traffic or the cost of living, may lead to behaviors that can have an effect on your health," said Nancy Mramor, PhD, noted health psychologist. "My goal is to help people take steps to lessen their stress and have a healthy response to stress."

According to Neil Toribara, MD, PhD, Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Denver Health Medical Center, "In my practice, I see an increasing number of patients suffering from acid reflux disease. While stress does not cause acid reflux disease, it can lead to behaviors, such as eating unhealthy foods, which may aggravate the condition.

"In addition to finding ways to lower their stress levels through lifestyle changes, there are treatment options for acid reflux disease available to patients. People should talk to their doctors to find out what they can do to control their acid reflux disease," Dr. Toribara said.

Treatment options for acid reflux disease include prescription medications that reduce acid production in the stomach, such as ACIPHEX, or rabeprazole sodium.

According to Dr. Mramor and Dr. Toribara, the following simple lifestyle changes can help ease stress:

-- Lead a healthy lifestyle. Eat sensibly, get enough rest, exercise regularly and balance work with play. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program. Watch your caffeine and alcohol intake - both can upset your sleep patterns as well as trigger acid reflux disease.

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-- Make time for yourself. Take the time to read a book, watch a movie, garden or indulge in a warm bath. You may also want to try a new hobby or join a club.

-- Set realistic goals. Don't try to take on too much at once. If you feel overwhelmed by responsibilities and events in your schedule, learn to say "no" or at least to find an acceptable compromise.

-- Find someone with whom you can talk. Seek out the support and guidance of friends, colleagues and family members. You may find that you're not the only one having a bad day.

-- Don't worry about what you can't control. Some things are completely out of your control, like traffic and the weather. Identify what you can't change and learn to let it go.

ACIPHEX is a prescription medication. One ACIPHEX 20 mg tablet daily is used for the treatment of persistent, frequent (2 or more days a week) heartburn and other symptoms associated with acid reflux disease.

ACIPHEX is also used for the short-term (4 to 8 weeks) treatment in the healing and symptom relief of damaging (erosive) acid reflux disease (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and to maintain healing of damage (erosions) and relief of heartburn symptoms that happen with acid reflux disease. ACIPHEX has not been studied for treatment lasting longer than 12 months (1 year).

ACIPHEX has a well-established safety profile. The most common side effect possibly related to ACIPHEX is headache. Symptom relief does not rule out other serious stomach conditions. Patients on warfarin (such as Coumadin) may need to be monitored more closely by their doctor.

Acid reflux disease occurs when stomach acid regularly escapes into the esophagus. A common symptom is heartburn. Persistent, frequent (2 or more days a week) heartburn, despite use of over-the-counter (OTC) medications and diet changes, could be acid reflux disease (sometimes referred to as GERD - gastroesophageal reflux disease). It's a condition that could get progressively worse if left untreated. Acid reflux disease can cause a number of symptoms in addition to heartburn, including regurgitation, belching, bloating, and early satiety (feeling full too soon).

Survey Methodology and Results

The survey was conducted by KOOL-FM, Denver, through an online survey of 1,633 listeners on behalf of Eisai/PriCara, May 25 - June 6, 2007. When asked what causes them the most stress, 45.6 percent of respondents reported traffic from the daily commute; an additional 34.3 percent reported that the cost of living caused the most stress. Additionally, 34.9 percent of respondents reported that they are most likely to react to stress by eating unhealthy foods; 34.7 percent of Denver residents react to stress by getting less sleep.