The prevalence of Barrett's oesophagus in a cohort of 1040 Canadian primary care patients with uninvestigated dyspepsia undergoing prompt endoscopy
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BACKGROUND: The prevalence of Barrett's oesophagus in patients undergoing gastroscopy may be influenced by possible referral bias. AIM: To present the prevalence of Barrett's oesophagus from the the Canadian Adult Dyspepsia Empirical Therapy Prompt Endoscopy study and to explore potential risk factors for its presence. METHODS: Patients had not been on treatment for dyspepsia for 2-4 weeks prior to endoscopy, which was performed within 10 working days of presentation. RESULTS: Barrett's oesophagus was endoscopically suspected in 53 of 1040 cases (5%) and histologically confirmed by the presence of intestinal metaplasia in 25 (2.4%). The prevalence of biopsy-proven Barrett's oesophagus was 4% in patients with dominant reflux-like symptoms. Sixty-four percent with confirmed Barrett's oesophagus had dominant reflux-like symptoms compared with 37% without Barrett's oesophagus. Barrett's oesophagus was more common in patients >50 years of age; 68% of cases were males. The mean duration of symptoms was 10 years, yet 16% had symptoms of <1-year duration. Endoscopic reflux oesophagitis was present in 68% of confirmed Barrett's oesophagus patients. CONCLUSIONS: Barrett's oesophagus is confirmed on biopsy in about half of endoscopically suspected Barrett's oesophagus patients. Barrett's oesophagus is more common in males, in those with dominant reflux-like symptoms, and in patients with a longer symptom history.
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