Aspirin Use Linked to Reduced Risk of Barrett's Esophagus

Current aspirin users have a 44 percent lower risk of being diagnosed with Barrett's esophagus

THURSDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- Current aspirin users have a significantly reduced risk of being diagnosed with Barrett's esophagus (BE) on first endoscopy compared with nonusers, according to a study published in the July issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Zehra B. Omer, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues conducted a case-controlled study involving 434 patients with BE diagnosed at first endoscopy at a single institution between 1997 and 2010. To identify characteristics of patients with BE that may be useful in screening and management, cases were matched with controls on the basis of indication for endoscopy, year of endoscopy, and endoscopist.

The researchers found that, in a multivariate model, men were significantly more likely than women to develop BE (odds ratio, 3.2). Current aspirin users were 44 percent less likely to develop BE compared with nonusers (odds ratio, 0.56). Similar results were seen in subgroup analysis of patients who underwent an endoscopy for symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease. The effects of aspirin on this patient population were not impacted by smoking or the use of acid-suppression medications.

"Our multivariate regression model found that aspirin use is inversely correlated with being diagnosed with BE on first endoscopy," the authors write. "Although numerous studies have demonstrated an association between aspirin use and decreased risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma, our study is the largest U.S. study to find a diminished risk of BE in aspirin users."

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