The researchers examined demographic and clinical predictors of Barrett's esophagus (BE) among patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
They reported their findings in the October issue of the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology.
A validated GERD questionnaire was administered to 107 patients with biopsy-proven BE, and to 104 patients with GERD, but no BE shown by endoscopy.
Frequent symptoms were defined as symptoms that occurred at least once or more each week. Severity of symptoms was rated on a scale, between 1 and 4 (mild to very severe).
Univariate analysis and multivariable logistic regression were performed. These determined whether demographic characteristics and the duration, severity, and frequency of GERD symptoms were associated with the identification of BE.
A total of 85% of the GERD patients and 82% of the BE patients completed the questionnaire.
|Predictors of Barrett's:|
- More than 40 years of age
- Heartburn or acid regurgitation
- Heartburn more than once a week
| Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology |
There was no difference between the groups in terms of race, gender, or proton pump inhibitor use. The BE patients were older (median age, 64 vs 57 years).
In multivariable logistic regression, an age of more than 40 years, the presence of heartburn or acid regurgitation, and heartburn more than once a week were all independent predictors of the presence of BE.
Interestingly, patients with BE were less likely to report severe GERD symptoms and nocturnal symptoms.
Duration of symptoms, race, alcohol, and smoking history were not found to be associated with BE.
Dr Mohamad A. Eloubeidi, of the Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, said on behalf of fellow authors, "Upper endoscopy should be performed in GERD patients more than 40 years of age, who report heartburn once or more per week.
"The severity of symptoms and the presence of nocturnal symptoms are not reliable indicators of the presence of BE," it was concluded.