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News

Obstructive sleep apnea is a risk factor for Barrett's esophagus 

A study in the latest Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology assessed the association between obstructive sleep apnea and Barrett's esophagus.

News image

Common risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea and Barrett's esophagus include obesity and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Dr Cadman Leggett and colleagues from Minnesota, USA assessed the association between obstructive sleep apnea and Barrett's esophagus and to determine whether the association is independent of GERD and body mass index (BMI).

Patients who had undergone a diagnostic polysomnogram and esophagogastroduodenoscopy were identified by using Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minnesota) databases from 2000 to 2011.

They were randomly matched for age, sex, and BMI at time of polysomnogram into the following groups; Barrett's esophagus but no obstructive sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea but no Barrett's esophagus, both, or neither.

Clinical and demographic variables were abstracted from medical records.

Subjects with obstructive sleep apnea had an 80% increased risk for Barrett's esophagus
Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology

The association between obstructive sleep apnea and Barrett's esophagus was assessed by using a multiple variable logistic model that incorporated age, sex, BMI, clinical diagnosis of GERD, and smoking history.

The research team found that subjects with obstructive sleep apnea had an 80% increased risk for Barrett's esophagus compared with subjects without obstructive sleep apnea.

These findings were independent of age, sex, BMI, GERD, and smoking history.

The team noted that increasing severity of obstructive sleep apnea, measured by using the apnea-hypopnea index, was associated with an increased risk of Barrett's esophagus.

Dr Leggett's team concludes, "In this case-control study, obstructive sleep apnea was associated with an increased risk of BE, potentially through BMI and GERD independent mechanisms."

"Patients with obstructive sleep apnea may benefit from evaluation for Barrett's esophagus."

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2014: 12(4): 583-588.e1
19 March 2014

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