High iron stores are a proposed modifiable risk factor for esophageal adenocarcinoma, but minimal human data exist.
Dr Douglas Corley and colleagues from California, USA evaluated whether iron intake and iron stores were associated with Barrett's esophagus, a metaplastic change that is a strong risk factor for esophageal adenocarcinoma.
The team conducted a case-control study within the Kaiser Permanente Northern California population.
The research team identified all persons with a new diagnosis of Barrett's esophagus.
The patients were matched to persons with GERD and to population controls.
Subjects completed examinations, dietary questionnaires, and testing for serum iron stores.
Analyses used unconditional logistic regression.
|Barrett's patients had lower dietary iron intakes|
|The American Journal of Gastroenterology|
The researchers evaluated 319 cases, 312 GERD patients, and 313 population controls.
Compared with population controls, Barrett's esophagus patients had lower dietary iron intakes, similar total iron intakes, and lower iron stores.
Similar associations were observed in comparisons with GERD controls, and among subjects without clear sources of blood loss on endoscopy.
Dr Corley’s team concluded, “Patients with Barrett's esophagus had lower dietary iron intakes and lower serum iron stores than controls in our population.”
“These findings do not provide support for the current hypothesis that high iron stores or a high iron intake are risk factors for Barrett's esophagus, a potential early event in the carcinogenic sequence for esophageal adenocarcinoma.”