Ethnicity Is an Important Consideration in Screening for Gastric Intestinal Metaplasia

Dig Dis Sci. 2022 Sep;67(9):4509-4517. doi: 10.1007/s10620-021-07326-2. Epub 2022 Jan 4.


Background: Gastric intestinal metaplasia (GIM) is a precursor to gastric adenocarcinoma, making it an attractive target for early detection by endoscopy. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence, risk factors, and associated histologic findings of GIM among patients undergoing endoscopy in a diverse US population.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective, cross-sectional study of patients undergoing elective endoscopy with gastric biopsies at 6 academic and community centers in Houston, Texas. GIM prevalence was estimated with a 95% confidence interval (CI), and patient demographic and clinical characteristics were summarized using mean with standard deviation, or frequency with percentage. Generalized estimating equations (GEE) were used to compare characteristics between those with and without GIM.

Results: Our final cohort consisted of 2685 patients, including 216 cases with GIM and 2469 controls. The prevalence of GIM in our cohort was 8.04% (95% CI 7.07%, 9.14%). The mean age of GIM cases was higher than in the control group (59.8 vs 54.7 years, p < 0.0001). The prevalence of GIM in Asians, Hispanic, Black and Non-Hispanic Whites (NHW) was 14.7%, 11.7%, 9.8% and 5.8%, respectively. On multivariable analysis, factors associated with GIM include age (adj. OR 1.32 per 10 year increase, p < 0.0001), habitual smoking (adj. OR 1.68, p < 0.0001), and race (compared to NHW: Asian, adj. OR 2.34, p = 0.010; Hispanic, adj. OR 2.15, p < 0.001; Black, adj. OR 1.61, p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Asians, Hispanics, and African Americans have higher rates of GIM than NHW. Ethnicity should be an important consideration on determining who to screen for GIM in the US.

Keywords: Atrophic gastritis; Gastric cancer; Gastric intestinal metaplasia; Helicobacter pylori.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ethnicity
  • Gastroscopy
  • Helicobacter Infections* / epidemiology
  • Helicobacter pylori*
  • Humans
  • Metaplasia / diagnosis
  • Metaplasia / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Precancerous Conditions* / pathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stomach Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Stomach Neoplasms* / epidemiology