Physical activity affects the functioning of the gastrointestinal system through both local and systemic effects and may play an important role in the etiology of gastroesophageal reflux disease, Barrett’s esophagus and oesophageal adenocarcinoma.
Dr Stephena Lam and colleagues investigated, for the first time in a large prospective cohort study, associations between recreational and occupational levels of physical activity and the incidence of Barrett’s esophagus.
The European Prospective Investigation of Cancer-Norfolk recruited 30,445 men and women between 1993 and 1997.
Occupational and recreational levels of physical activity were measured using a baseline questionnaire.
|Heavy manual occupations were positively associated with disease risk|
|European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology|
The team examined the cohort up until 2015 to identify symptomatic cases of Barrett’s esophagus.
The researchers reported that 203 participants developed Barrett’s esophagus.
The research team noted an inverse association between standing occupations and disease risk when compared with sedentary jobs.
Heavy manual occupations were positively associated with disease risk, but conventional statistical significance was not reached.
The team found no associations between recreational activity and the risk of Barrett’s esophagus.
Dr Lam's team concludes, "Our study suggests that occupational levels of physical activity may be associated with the risk Barrett’s esophagus."
"However, further work is required to confirm and describe specific occupations that may be protective."