Patients at risk for BE worried over EAC but rarely undergoes screening: study

25 Apr 2023
Patients at risk for BE worried over EAC but rarely undergoes screening: study

Patients who are prone to Barrett’s esophagus (BE), specifically those belonging to racial and ethnic minorities, express concern about developing esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC), reveals a study. However, they seldom go through screening and lack awareness of screening recommendations.

An online survey was conducted involving patients aged >50 years with chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) at three academic medical centres and one affiliated safety net health systems. Study authors obtained information on patient characteristics, endoscopy history, familiarity with screening practices, perceived BE/EAC risk, and barriers to screening.

A total of 2,084 patients were surveyed, of which 472 (22.6 percent, mean age 67.9 years, 74 percent men) responded. Among the respondents, 66.5 percent were non-Hispanic White, 20.0 percent non-Hispanic Black, 13.4 percent other race, and 7.1 percent Hispanic. Only 13.2 percent had screening recommendation for BE, while 5.3 percent reported previous screening.

Respondents demonstrated poor understanding about screening indications: only two-thirds correctly pointed out the risk factors for BE, and only 19.5 percent deemed that BE screening was required for GERD.

Additionally, more than one in five participants thought that they would develop BE (31.9 percent) or EAC (20.2 percent) but reported barriers to screening. More Black than White respondents were worried about developing BE or EAC and showed interest in screening but reported higher barriers to screening.

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