Statin use may decrease the risk of Barrett’s esophagus, according to the results of a study published online on May 2, 2014, in Gastroenterology.
The case-control study compared 303 patients diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus with a group of selective endoscopy controls and a group of primary care controls to analyze the impact of statins on the risk for the condition. To determine statin use, researchers of the study analyzed pharmacy records during a 10-year period before patients were diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus. Patients were recruited from primary care clinics at a Veterans Affairs center and were eligible for colonoscopy screenings or had been scheduled for elective esophagogastroduodenoscopy.
Overall, 57.4% of Barrett’s esophagus patients used statins, compared with 64.9% of endoscopy controls and 71.3% of primary care controls. The results indicated that statin use was associated with a significantly lower risk for Barrett’s esophagus compared with the combined control groups. The risk was especially decreased among obese patients who used statins and for Barrett’s esophagus segments of 3 cm or more. The study did not find a significant association between Barrett’s esophagus and nonstatin lipid-lowering medications.