Effects of Race and Sex on Features of Eosinophilic Esophagitis

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2016 Jan;14(1):23-30. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2015.08.034. Epub 2015 Sep 4.


Background & aims: Clinical and endoscopic features of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) differ between children and adults and among racial backgrounds. We investigated whether there were any associations between race or sex and clinical presentation, endoscopic features, and histologic findings from patients with EoE of various racial backgrounds.

Methods: We performed a retrospective, multicenter, cross-sectional analysis of 793 patients with EoE (476 adults and 317 children; mean age, 26 years; range, 0.1-84 years; 72% male) from clinical registries at 5 tertiary care centers in the United States. EoE was defined per consensus guidelines. Data with predetermined variables were extracted from clinical registries at each participating institution.

Results: Of the study cohort, 660 patients were white (83%), 77 were African American (10%), and 56 were of other races (7%). A significantly larger proportion of white persons than African Americans or other races had dysphagia (74%, 56%, and 53%, respectively; P < .001), food impaction (35%, 13%, and 13%, respectively; P < .001), and features of EoE that included rings (46%, 25%, and 18%, respectively; P < .001) or furrows (70%, 58%, and 55%, respectively; P = .012). Males and females had similar clinical presentations, histories of atopy, findings from endoscopy, and histologic characteristics. A higher proportion of males than females had strictures (17% vs 11%; P = .038).

Conclusions: Race, and to a smaller degree sex, are associated with features of EoE. African Americans have different clinical symptoms and fewer endoscopic features of EoE than white persons. EoE should be considered in African Americans even without typical findings.

Keywords: Allergy; Eosinophilic Esophagitis; Epidemiology; Food; Race.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis / epidemiology
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis / pathology*
  • Esophagoscopy
  • Esophagus / pathology*
  • Female
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Racial Groups
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult