Statins have been associated with a reduced risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma, but little is known about their effect on development of Barrett’s esophagus.
Dr Hashem El-Serag and colleagues from Texas, USA evaluated the association between statins and risk of Barrett’s esophagus.
The research team conducted a case-control study among eligible patients scheduled for elective esophagogastroduodenoscopy and patients eligible for screening colonoscopy, recruited from primary care clinics at a Veterans Affairs center.
The team compared 303 patients with Barrett’s esophagus with 2 separate sex-matched control groups.
|The risk for Barrett’s esophagus was lower with segments ≥3 cm|
There were 606 elective endoscopy controls and 303 primary care controls without Barrett’s esophagus.
Use of statins and other lipid-lowering medications was ascertained by reviewing filled prescriptions in electronic pharmacy records during a 10-year period before the Barrett’s esophagus diagnosis date for patients and study endoscopy date for controls.
The researchers calculated odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) using conditional multivariable logistic-regression models among 276 patients and 828 controls further matched on age.
A smaller proportion of Barrett’s esophagus patients filled statin prescriptions than endoscopy controls or primary care controls.
Controls had longer durations of statin prescriptions filled than patients.
The team noted that statin use was associated with a significantly lower risk of Barrett’s esophagus compared with the combined control groups.
The risk of Barrett’s esophagus was especially lower with statin use among obese patients, as was the risk for Barrett’s esophagus segments ≥3 cm.
The researchers found no significant association between Barrett’s esophagus and nonstatin lipid-lowering medications.
Dr El-Serag's team concludes, "In a case-control study of veterans, statin use was associated with a reduced risk of Barrett’s esophagus."
"The greatest level of risk reduction was observed for obese patients and for long-segment Barrett’s esophagus."