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Smokeless Tobacco and Cigar and/or Pipe Are Risk Factors for Barrett Esophagus in Male Patients With Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease



      To investigate the effect of smokeless tobacco (ST), cigar and/or pipe smoking (CP) on the development of Barrett esophagus (BE) in white male patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

      Patients and Methods

      A total of 1015 records of white male adults with BE (cases; n=508) or GERD (controls, n=507) were reviewed for lifestyle factors. Logistic regression analyses were performed after adjusting for lifestyle factors to assess the effects of ST and CP on the risk of developing BE. Differences between patients with BE and those with GERD were compared using chi-square and t tests.


      Patients with BE were significantly older than patients with GERD (mean age, 66±12 years for patients with BE and 55±15 years for patients with GERD; P<.001). The odds of developing BE in patients who used CS were 1.7 times higher than that in patients who never smoked cigarettes (odds ratio [OR], 1.7; 95% CI, 1.3-2.2). It was observed that when CS use was combined with either ST or CP use, the odds of having BE significantly increased (OR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.2-5.2; P=.01 and OR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.03-3.58; P=.04) in comparison to CS alone. There were no significant differences in body mass index and alcohol consumption between BE and GERD groups.


      This study suggests that there is indeed an association between CS and BE. We believe that this is the first time that ST and CP were associated with an even higher odds of developing BE. Further studies are needed to investigate whether the use of ST and CP is also associated with an increased risk of developing BE-associated adenocarcinoma.

      Abbreviations and Acronyms:

      BE (Barrett esophagus), BMI (body mass index), CP (cigar and/or pipe), CS (cigarette smoking), EAC (esophageal adenocarcinoma), GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), OR (odds ratio), ST (smokeless tobacco)
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