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Statin use decreases the risk of Barrett's esophagus
Date:7/23/2014

Bethesda, MD (July 23, 2014) Statins, a class of drugs commonly used to lower cholesterol levels, significantly reduce a patient's risk of developing Barrett's esophagus, according to a new study in Gastroenterology1, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association. Obese patients experienced the greatest level of risk reduction with statin use.

"Patients who received statins had a 43 percent reduction in the odds of having Barrett's esophagus compared to non-users," said study author Hashem B. El-Serag, MD, MPH, from the Houston VA Medical Center and Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX. "This is the first study to find a significantly lower risk of Barrett's esophagus with statin use, independent of other known risk factors. Further studies are needed to examine this association."

Researchers conducted a single-center, large case-control study of 303 Barrett's esophagus patients and 909 controls treated at the Michael E. DeBakey Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Houston, TX. They compared electronic pharmacy records during a 10-year period to ascertain medication use and evaluated the association between the use of statins and the risk of Barrett's esophagus. The findings indicate that statins may have a protective effect against the development of Barrett's esophagus. This association was independent of known risk factors, including age, race, gender, H. pylori infection and smoking status.

The protective effect of statins was especially significant among patients who were obese. Those with a body mass index greater than or equal to 30 had a 74 percent reduction in Barrett's esophagus.

Patients who had frequent gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms had a 59 percent reduction in Barrett's esophagu
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Contact: Rachel Steigerwald
media@gastro.org
301-272-1603
American Gastroenterological Association
Source:Eurekalert

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