The team investigated lifestyle factors relevant to the development of Barrett's esophagus in the United Kingdom.
They reported their results in the June issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.
At Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, Scotland, medical records of 136 Barrett's esophagus patients were examined.
At Wexham Park Hospital, Slough, England, 50 male and 51 female Barrett's esophagus patients were matched for sex, age, and year of diagnosis (± 3 years) with uncomplicated reflux esophagitis patients.
Data were abstracted for tobacco consumption, alcohol intake, and weight.
In Dundee, height was also recorded, and body mass index calculated.
| No difference in smoking or drinking habits of Barrett's patients.
| American Journal of Gastroenterology |
Alcohol and tobacco intakes were scored for each patient.
The researchers found that, in Dundee there was no difference in smoking or drinking habits between men and women under and over 50 years of age.
In Slough there was little difference in drinking or smoking habits between Barrett's esophagus and reflux esophagitis patients. There was also little difference between their mean weights.
However, of the Dundee Barrett's esophagus patients younger than 50 years, 31% of men and 71% of women had body mass indexes over 30 (obese). This compared to 11% and 13%, respectively, for the general population.
In those older than 50 years, 14% of men and 19% of women have body mass indexes over 30.
Christine P. J. Caygill, of the Royal Free and University College Medical School, London, commented on behalf of her group, "There is no difference in smoking or drinking habits in younger and older Barrett's esophagus patients, nor between those with Barrett's esophagus and reflux esophagitis."
"Obesity is a risk factor for Barrett's esophagus in young people only," she concluded.