Objectives: Results from studies examining the association between alcohol consumption and the risk of Barrett's esophagus have been inconsistent. We assessed the risk of Barrett's esophagus associated with total and beverage-specific alcohol consumption by pooling individual participant data from five case-control studies participating in the international Barrett's and Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Consortium.
Methods: For analysis, there were 1,282 population-based controls, 1,418 controls with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and 1,169 patients with Barrett's esophagus (cases). We estimated study-specific odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) using multivariable logistic regression models adjusted for age, sex, body mass index (BMI), education, smoking status, and GERD symptoms. Summary risk estimates were obtained by random-effects models. We also examined potential effect modification by sex, BMI, GERD symptoms, and cigarette smoking.
Results: For comparisons with population-based controls, although there was a borderline statistically significant inverse association between any alcohol consumption and the risk of Barrett's esophagus (any vs. none, summary OR=0.77, 95% CI=0.60-1.00), risk did not decrease in a dose-response manner (Ptrend=0.72). Among alcohol types, wine was associated with a moderately reduced risk of Barrett's esophagus (any vs. none, OR=0.71, 95% CI=0.52-0.98); however, there was no consistent dose-response relationship (Ptrend=0.21). We found no association with alcohol consumption when cases were compared with GERD controls. Similar associations were observed across all strata of BMI, GERD symptoms, and cigarette smoking.
Conclusions: Consistent with findings for esophageal adenocarcinoma, we found no evidence that alcohol consumption increases the risk of Barrett's esophagus.