Type 2 Diabetes May Increase Risk of Barrett’s Esophagus

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LAS VEGAS—Patients with Type 2 Diabetes may face an increased risk for Barrett’s Esophagus (BE), regardless of other risk factors including smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), according to the new study, “Diabetes Mellitus Increases the Risk of Barrett’s Esophagus: Results from a Large Population-Based Control Case Study."  

“If you have diabetes, your risk for Barrett’s esophagus (BE) may be almost doubled," said co-investigator, Prasad G. Iyer, MD, of the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. He said this risk may be higher in men with diabetes likely because men tend to carry more fat in the abdomen compared to women who tend to carry weight around the hips and thighs.

Type 2 diabetes is the most is the most form of diabetes, with millions of Americans living with the disease. Barrett's esophagus is a condition in which the tissue lining the esophagus is replaced by tissue that is similar to the lining of the intestine. No signs or symptoms are associated with Barrett's esophagus but it is commonly found in people with GERD. About 5 to 10 percent of patients with chronic GERD will develop Barrett’s esophagus.

Performing a population-based control study using the United Kingdom’s General Practice Research Database (GPRD) (a primary care database containing more than 8 million patients), the researchers identified 14,245 Barrett's esophagus cases and 70,361 controls without Barrett's esophagus. Cases were more likely than controls to have ever smoked and consumed alcohol; and the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes before Barrett's esophagus diagnosis was higher in cases than controls. The mean BMI was also higher in cases than in controls both at baseline and over the study period.

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