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Barrett's esophagus in Latinos undergoing endoscopy for gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms


  • [Correction after online publication on 9/28/12: the spelling of ‘gastroesophageal’ has been corrected in the title.]

Dr John J. Kim, MD, MS, 11234 Anderson Street, #1556, Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA. Email:


Previous studies comparing the prevalence of Barrett's esophagus in Latinos and non-Latino whites are inconsistent. The aim of the study is to compare the prevalence of Barrett's esophagus in Latinos and non-Latino whites and to determine risk factors associated with Barrett's esophagus. Between March 2005 and January 2009, consecutive Latino and non-Latino white patients who underwent endoscopy for primary indication for symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease were identified by examining the internal endoscopy database at Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center. Barrett's esophagus was defined by columnar-lined distal esophagus on endoscopy confirmed by intestinal metaplasia on histology. Clinical features and endoscopic findings were retrospectively reviewed. The mean age of the 663 patients was 50 ± 12 years, 30% were male, and 92% were Latino. Compared with non-Latino whites, Latinos had more females (72% vs. 46%; P = 0.0001) and more Helicobacter pylori infection (53% vs. 24%; P = 0.003) but less tobacco use (7% vs. 17%; P = 0.01). Overall, 10% (68/663) of all patients had Barrett's esophagus whereas the prevalence was 10% (62/611) among the Latinos and 12% (6/52) among the non-Latino whites (OR 0.9, 95% CI 0.4–2.1; P = 0.75). One patient in the Latino group had high-grade dysplasia. On multivariate analysis, male gender (AOR 2.3, 95% CI 1.4–4.1; P = 0.002), diabetes (AOR 2.2, 95% CI 1.1–4.5; P = 0.03), and age ≥55 years (AOR 2.2, 95% CI 1.3–3.8; P = 0.006) were independently associated with Barrett's esophagus; Latino ethnicity remained nonsignificant (AOR 1.1, 95% CI 0.4–2.7; P = 0.88). In Latinos undergoing endoscopy for gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms, the prevalence of Barrett's esophagus was 10%, comparable with non-Latino white controls as well as the prevalence previously reported among Caucasians. In addition to established risk factors, diabetes was associated with Barrett's esophagus.