Globus pharyngeus has been linked to salivary hypofunction. We hypothesise that a considerable portion of the globus experienced by patients is due to a drying effect secondary to anticholinergic medication use; this study aimed to determine their association.
A cross-sectional study was conducted of 270 patients who presented to a laryngology practice over 6 months. Participants rated globus sensation on a 5-point severity scale, with those scoring 0 considered as controls (non-globus). Participants were excluded if they had a likely cause of globus. Scores were compared with participants’ medication lists, co-morbidities, age and gender, and evaluated using multivariate analysis, with significance set at p < 0.05.
Any participant taking at least 2 anticholinergic medications had a 3.52 increased odds (p = 0.02) of experiencing globus. A previous diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease was also significantly associated with globus (p = 0.004), with an odds ratio of 3.75.
A substantial portion of idiopathic globus may be due to anticholinergic use or reflux. The findings implicate medication use as a risk factor for globus. An awareness of these associations is invaluable for identifying cause and treating globus.
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