2016-06-08 13:09:07 UTC

Barrett's Esophagus 102: Risk Factors

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Doctors do not know what exactly causes someone to get Barrett’s esophagus. There are a few things, though, that doctors have found could raise the chances of getting it. If you are worried that you could get Barrett's esophagus, speak to your gastroenterologist.

•    Men get Barrett’s esophagus twice as often as women.

•    Caucasian men get it more often than men of other races.

•    The average age at diagnosis is 55 years old.

•    Between 5 and 10 percent of people with GERD (or reflux) get Barrett’s esophagus.

•    Obesity — chiefly, high levels of belly fat — raises your chances of getting Barrett’s esophagus.

•    Smoking raises your chances of getting Barrett’s esophagus. 

•    Some studies suggest that your genes may play a role in whether you get Barrett’s esophagus.

There are some things that may lower your chance of getting Barrett’s esophagus, like a diet high in fruits and veggies, and working with your doctor to lessen acid reflux.

©AGA, July 2016

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