Korean J Helicobacter Up Gastrointest Res.  2012 Jun;12(2):55-61. 10.7704/kjhugr.2012.12.2.55.

Epidemiology of Barrett's Esophagus

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Kosin University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea. mipark@ns.kosinmed.or.kr


Barrett's esophagus was first described more than 50 years ago. Chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease can cause Barrett's esophagus, and predisposes the development of adenocarcinoma of the esophagus. Barrett's esophagus can be defined as the presence of specialized intestinal metaplasia within any length of the esophagus. However, there is still heterogeneity in definition of Barrett's esophagus, which has resulted in confusion and difficulties in comparing the various studies on the epidemiology of Barrett's esophagus. In Western countries, the incidence of Barrett's esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma has progressively increased. In contrast, the prevalence of Barrett's esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma is not increasing in Asia. Increased age, male sex, smoking, reflux symptoms and erosive esophagitis have been found to be risk factors for Barrett's esophagus in several studies from Asia. The prevalence of Barrett's esophagus in Asia outside Japan ranges from 0.06% to 6.2%, and is still lower than that in Western countries.


Barrett's esophagus; Prevalence; Risk factors
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