Obesity has been linked to gastro-esophageal reflux disease symptoms and esophageal adenocarcinoma.
However, there is no published evidence for an association with Barrett's esophagus.
Dr Stein and colleagues from Texas investigated the association between obesity and Barrett's esophagus.
The research team conducted a retrospective cross-sectional study of patients who underwent upper endoscopy.
The patients underwent treatment at the Southern Arizona Veteran's Affairs Healthcare System between 1998 and 2004.
The researchers examined male patients without malignancy, with available information on weight and height.
Based on endoscopic and histological findings, patients were classified as cases with Barrett's esophagus or non-cases without Barrett's esophagus.
|The odds ratio for body mass index 25 to 30 was 2.43|
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
The team conducted multivariable logistic regression analysis to examine the association of body mass index and obesity with Barrett's esophagus.
The multivariable logistic regression model adjusted for race and age.
The researchers also assessed Barrett's esophagus length while adjusting for age and race.
The team identified 65 cases with Barrett's esophagus and 385 non-cases without Barrett's esophagus.
The mean body mass index was significantly higher in cases than in non-cases.
The team noted that cases had significantly greater mean weight than controls.
The proportions of cases with body mass index 25 to 30 and a body mass index more than 30 were greater than those in non-cases.
When compared with body mass index less than 25, and after using multivariable logistic regression model, the odds ratio for body mass index 25 to 30 was 2.43.
For body mass index 30, the researchers found that the odds ratio was 2.46.
When examined as a continuous variable, the researchers observed that the adjusted odd ratio for each 5-point increase in body mass index was 1.35.
The team also found that the association between weight and Barrett's esophagus was statistically significant.
Among the 65 cases of Barrett's esophagus, there was no correlation between the length of Barrett's oesophagus at the time of diagnosis and the body mass index.
Dr Stein's team commented, “This retrospective cross-sectional study in male veterans shows that overweight is associated with a 2-and-half-fold increased risk of Barrett's esophagus.”
“Larger studies of the underlying mechanism are warranted to better understand how and why obese patients are at greater risk for Barrett's esophagus.”