Low proportion of Barrett's esophagus in Asian Americans

Am J Gastroenterol. 2008 Jul;103(7):1625-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1572-0241.2008.01891.x. Epub 2008 Jun 28.


Objectives: To determine the proportion of Barrett's esophagus (BE) in Asians versus non-Asians and the predictors of BE in patients with upper gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms.

Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study to determine the proportion of BE from all consecutive patients who underwent esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) for various indications at an outpatient, community-based gastroenterology practice in northern California from February 2000 to September 2006. BE was defined as endoscopically recognized presence of salmon-pink mucosa in the distal esophagus and intestinal metaplasia on biopsy. We also performed a nested case-control study to determine potential predictors of BE.

Results: In total, 5,293 patients were reviewed. BE was more common in non-Asians (31/1464, 2.1%) than Asians (29/3829, 0.76%) (P < 0.001). In multivariate analysis controlling for increasing age, male gender, ethnicity, smoking, and alcohol, the strongest predictor of the presence of BE was non-Asian ethnicity (odds ratio [OR] 3.55, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.85-6.85), followed by male gender (OR 2.68, 95% CI 1.32-5.45).

Conclusion: BE is uncommon in Asian Americans; non-Asian ethnicity and male gender are significant independent predictors of BE.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Asian*
  • Barrett Esophagus / epidemiology*
  • California / epidemiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Endoscopy, Digestive System
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors