Barrett’s Esophagus Appears To Be Spiking in Younger Patients

July 17, 2015

GASTROENTEROLOGY & ENDOSCOPY NEWS

“The incidence of Barrett’s esophagus (BE) among relatively young people has surged in recent years, an analysis of a large health care database has found.

The study, of 50 million unique patient records between 2008 and 2013, showed that while the absolute incidence remains low among people younger than age 55 years, the share of cases in that group climbed sharply over the five-year period. Meanwhile, cases of BE among people over age 55 fell, suggesting a demographic shift in the disease with potentially important implications for screening, according to the researchers. As a precancerous condition, BE may be more dangerous in younger patients because of the longer time for the abnormal cells to progress to malignancy.

“The increase in the rate of BE was particularly high in the age group of 25 to 34 years,” said Sasan Sakiani, MD, of the Division of Gastroenterology at MetroHealth Medical Center, in Cleveland, and a study co-author.

Ronnie Fass, MD, director of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at MetroHealth, who helped conduct the study, said more research is needed to identify the underlying basis for the trend.

“The impetus behind the study was the growing number of younger patients with GERD [gastroesophageal reflux disease]-related symptoms who were diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus in our clinic,” Dr. Fass said. “It was important for us to further assess this trend because of the important impact it will likely have on our current guidelines for BE screening.”

Dr. Sakiani’s group presented the findings at Digestive Disease Week 2015 (abstract SA1881). The researchers analyzed the Explorys database, which includes data from 317,000 providers admitting patients to 360 hospitals in the United States. The database was initially surveyed by the International Classification of Diseases, 9th edition code for GERD, symptoms of heartburn and other risk factors for BE. The researchers conducted additional analyses to find patients who underwent endoscopy and received a diagnosis of BE between 2008 and 2013, to establish an annual incidence by patient age, sex and race.

“There was a steady increase in both the number of endoscopic procedures performed each year and the incidence of BE,” Dr. Sakiani said. By 2013, the number of endoscopies had risen to 201,140 from 79,040 in 2008, while the incidence of BE increased from 1,970 to 4,269 over that period.”

Read the full article, here.

 

Bosworth, Ted. “Barrett’s Esophagus Appears To Be Spiking in Younger Patients.Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News – Web. 17 July 2015.

 

 

The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) non profit organization as recognized by the Internal Revenue Service.

Content found on Salgi.org is for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


What Role Does The Esophagus Play In The Digestive System?

May 29, 2014

Today, May 29, 2014, is World Digestive Health Day!   As advocates of esophageal health and the prevention of esophageal cancer; we find it very important to increase awareness and education of the important role that the esophagus plays in the digestive system.

The esophagus is the first conduit in the digestive tube  and plays a simple yet significant part in the human digestive system. When we swallow, food or liquids are pushed from the mouth into a muscular tube, the esophagus and into the stomach.

The lower esophageal sphincter is located at the base of the esophagus and is responsible for controlling the passage of food and liquid between the esophagus and stomach.  The LES is a ring-shaped muscle which relaxes to allow food and liquid into the stomach.  Once the food and liquid pass through the relaxed sphincter, it closes back up, thus keeping the food and liquid in the stomach.

Problems arise when the LES weakens and does not close properly.  When this happens, stomach contents escape the stomach and flow back up into the esophagus.  This backflow of stomach content is called reflux.  For those who experience reflux symptoms (heartburn included) more than twice a week may have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).

Over time, the back-flow of stomach contents and acids irritate the esophagus and can cause serious damage to the esophagus, including esophageal cancer.

Join us in raising awareness of the importance of esophageal health today and everyday!

Like and share with us on Facebook and follow and re-tweet us on Twitter!  You can find links to our other social media sites below.

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Sources:
University of Maryland Medical Center
Nat’l Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), Nat’l Institutes of Health (NIH)
 
The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) non profit organization as recognized by the Internal Revenue Service.

Content found on Salgi.org is for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.