Risk factors for Barrett's esophagus: A case-control study

Massimo Conio, Rosangela Filiberti, Sabrina Blanchi, Roberto Ferraris, Santino Marchi, Paolo Ravelli, Gabriella Lapertosa, Gaetano Iaquinto, Renato Sablich, Riccardo Gusmaroli, Hugo Aste, Attilio Giacosa, M. Conio, F. Munizzi, H. Aste, A. Giacosa, R. Ferraris, M. Fracchia, A. Pera, S. MarchiF. Costa, P. Rivelli, G. Missale, R. Cestari, G. Lapertosa, R. Fiocca, V. D'Onofrio, G. Iaquinto, R. Sablich, T. Lacchin, G. Benedetti, R. Gusmaroli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Barrett's esophagus (BE) is an acquired disorder due to chronic gastroesophageal reflux. Environmental factors seem to play an important role in the pathogenesis of BE, especially in Western society. A multicenter case-control study was carried out between February 1995 and April 1999 in 8 Italian Departments of Gastroenterology gathered in a study group (GOSPE), in order to analyze the influence of some individual characteristics and life-style habits on the occurrence of BE. Three groups of patients were studied: 149 patients with BE, 143 patients with esophagitis (E) and 308 hospital controls (C) with acute, non-neoplastic, non-gastroenterological conditions. The diagnosis of BE was based on endoscopy and histology. E was defined by the Savary classification (grade 1-111). Data collection was performed by using a questionnaire that focused on smoking, coffee and alcohol consumption, medical history, drugs history, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms (heartburn, regurgitation) and socio-economic status. Multivariate analysis showed that the frequency of weekly GERD symptoms was significantly associated with both BE and E (p<0.0001), such as the presence of hiatal hernia (p≤0.001). Ulcer was significantly associated with BE (p=0.001). Among patients with E, the risk was directly related to spirits consumption (p=0.03). Patients with GERD symptoms that lasted more than 13 years were more likely to have BE than E (p=0.01). In conclusion, results from our study point out that long-standing GERD symptoms, hiatal hernia and possibly alcohol consumption are risk factors in the development of the BE and E.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-229
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 10 2002


  • Barrett's esophagus
  • Esophagitis
  • GERD
  • Italy
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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