A team from Cleveland, Ohio, USA, determined whether Barrett's esophagus and esophageal (or esophagogastric junctional) adenocarcinoma aggregate in families.
A total of 58 Caucasian patients with Barrett's esophagus, esophageal adenocarcinoma, or esophagogastric junctional adenocarcinoma were included in the study.
An additional 106 Caucasian controls, with symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux disease without Barrett's esophagus, were enrolled.
Each individual in the trial was given a structured questionnaire eliciting details on reflux symptoms, exposure history, and family history.
The researchers confirmed any reported diagnoses of family members by review of medical records.
| Family history of Barrett's and esophageal adenocarcinoma increased risk by 12-times.
| Gut |
Positive family history was defined as a first or second degree relative with Barrett's esophagus, esophageal adenocarcinoma, or esophagogastric junctional adenocarcinoma.
It was discovered that the presence of a positive family history was significantly higher among case subjects compared with controls (24% vs 5%).
In addition, case subjects were more likely to be older and male (74% vs 43% male) compared with control subjects.
The team found that, in a multivariate logistic regression analysis, family history was independently associated with the presence of Barrett's esophagus, esophageal adenocarcinoma, or esophagogastric junctional adenocarcinoma (odds ratio 12.23). This was after adjusting for age, sex, and the presence of obesity 10 or more years prior to study enrolment.
Dr A. Chak, of the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, said on behalf of fellow colleagues, "Individuals with Barrett's esophagus, esophageal adenocarcinoma, or esophagogastric junctional adenocarcinoma are more likely to have a positive family history of these conditions than individuals without them."
"A positive family history should be considered when making decisions about screening endoscopy in patients with symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux," it was concluded.