Patients with Barrett's esophagus perceive their risk of developing esophageal adenocarcinoma as low

Gastrointest Endosc. 2007 Jan;65(1):26-30. doi: 10.1016/j.gie.2006.05.030.


Background: The risk of developing esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) for patients with Barrett's esophagus (BE) is approximately 0.5% per year.

Objective: To investigate how patients with BE estimate and perceive their risk of developing EAC.

Design: Questionnaire study.

Setting: Patients with BE who were undergoing surveillance endoscopy based on histologic and flow cytometric results.

Patients: A total of 192 patients with BE were included.

Main outcome measurements: Individual patients were asked to estimate the numerical risk to develop EAC for patients with BE in general and for themselves. How patients perceived their own risk was measured on a scale from "very small" to "very large."

Results: At least 1 question was filled out by 169 patients (88% response). Sixty percent of respondents underestimated the numerical risk for patients with BE, in general, to develop EAC, while even more patients (69%) underestimated their own risk. Most respondents perceived their own risk as very small or small (63%).

Limitations: Risk estimations may depend on the response scale used.

Conclusions: Most patients with BE underestimated the numerical risk and perceived their risk of developing EAC as (very) low. Despite a low perceived risk, all patients in this group adhered to endoscopic surveillance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Barrett Esophagus / pathology*
  • Disease Progression
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Surveys and Questionnaires