Long-term risk factors for developing Barrett's oesophagus in patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease: a longitudinal cohort study

Christopher J. Byrne (Lead / Corresponding author), Paul Brennan, James Carberry, James Cotton, John F. Dillon

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Background and aims: Several characteristics are known to affect the risk of Barrett's oesophagus (BO) in the general population, with symptomatic gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) being a critical risk factor. In this study, we examined factors that influence BO development in people living with GORD.

Design: People living with GORD were recruited from an endoscopy unit with lifestyle, medical and prescribing history collected. Logistic regression analysis was undertaken to assess the effects of multiple parameters on the likelihood of developing BO.

Results: 1197 participants were recruited. Most were Caucasian (n=1188, 99%), had no formal educational qualifications (n=714; 59.6%) and lived with overweight (mean body mass index >25 kg/m2). Many lived in areas of least socioeconomic resource (n=568; 47.4%). 139 (11.6%) had BO at baseline. In adjusted baseline analysis (n=1197), male sex (adjusted OR, aOR 2.04 (95% CI 1.92 to 4.12), p≤0.001), increasing age (aOR 1.03 (95% CI 1.01 to 1.04), p≤0.0001) and proton pump inhibitor use (aOR 3.03 (95% CI 1.80 to 5.13), p≤0.0001) were associated with higher odds of BO. At follow-up (n=363), 22 (6.1%) participants developed BO; male sex (aOR 3.18 (95% CI 1.28 to 7.86), p=0.012), pack-years cigarettes smoked (aOR 1.04 (95% CI 1.00 to 1.08), p=0.046) and increased alcohol intake (aOR 1.02 (95% CI 1.00 to 1.04), p=0.013), were associated with increased odds of BO.

Conclusion: Male sex, pack-years cigarettes smoked, and increasing alcohol intake, were independently associated with increased odds of developing BO over 20-year follow-up. These results align with research linking male sex and smoking with BO and extend this by implicating the potential role of alcohol in developing BO, which may require communication through public health messaging.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere001307
Number of pages8
JournalBMJ Open Gastroenterology
Issue number1
Early online date22 Mar 2024
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2024


  • Humans
  • Male
  • Barrett Esophagus/epidemiology
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux/complications
  • Risk Factors
  • Cohort Studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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