The researchers assessed the risk of adenocarcinomas of the esophagus and gastric cardia in patients hospitalized for asthma.
The findings of the study were published in the 1 November issue of the British Journal of Cancer.
A total of 92,986 (42,663 men and 50,323 women) adult patients, who were hospitalized for asthma in Sweden from 1965 to 1994, were included in the study. The subjects were followed for an average of 8.5 years.
Standardized incidence ratio (SIR), adjusted for gender, age, and calendar year, was used to estimate relative risk, using the Swedish nationwide cancer incidence rates as reference.
| Almost 93,000 asthmatics were studied.
| British Journal of Cancer |
Overall, asthmatic patients had a moderately elevated risk for esophageal adenocarcinoma (SIR = 1.5) and gastric cardia cancer (SIR = 1.4).
However, the excess risks were largely confined to asthmatic patients who also had a discharge record of gastroesophageal reflux (SIR = 7.5 and SIR = 7.1, respectively).
No significant excess risk for esophageal squamous-cell carcinoma or distal stomach cancer was observed.
Dr W. Ye said on behalf of fellow authors, "In conclusion, asthma is associated with a moderately elevated risk of developing esophageal or gastric cardia adenocarcinoma.
"Special clinical vigilance vis-a-vis gastroesophageal cancers seems unwarranted in asthmatic patients, but may be appropriate in those with clinically manifest gastroesophageal reflux," it was concluded.