These 4 factors contribute to Barrett's esophagus progression

A study, published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, identified the factors associated with Barrett's esophagus progression without dysplasia or Barrett's esophagus with low-grade dysplasia.

Study authors performed a systematic review of databases through May 2016 identifying 20 studies, which involved 1,231 events and 74,943 patients. Researchers analyzed the studies to find patients with Barrett's esophagus without dysplasia or Barrett's esophagus with low-grade dysplasia.

Here's what they found:

1. These factors contributed to Barrett's esophagus progression:

  • Older age
  • If a patient is male
  • If a patient smoked
  • If a patient's Barrett's esophagus segment length increased

2. Low-grade dysplasia had a four-fold increase in Barrett's esophagus progression.

3. Proton pump inhibitors or statins both lowered Barrett's esophagus progression.

4. Neither alcohol nor obesity increased progression risk.

Researchers concluded, "In a systematic review and meta-analysis, we associated older age, male sex, smoking, longer Barrett's esophagus segment and low-grade dysplasia with risk of progression of Barrett's esophagus. Individuals with these features should undergo more intensive surveillance or endoscopic therapy. Smoking is a modifiable risk factor for cancer prevention in patients with Barrett's esophagus."

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