Rising incidence of clinically evident Barrett's oesophagus in The Netherlands: A nation-wide registry of pathology reports
Objective. The incidence of oesophageal adenocarcinoma has increased steadily over the past few decades, but little information is available on trends in the incidence of its presumed precursor, Barrett's oesophagus (BO). Material and methods. The nation-wide registry of pathology reports (PALGA) was used to investigate time trends in the incidence of BO in The Netherlands. Standardized morbidity ratios (SMRs) were calculated to examine the magnitude of the changes. Results. The study comprised 105,283 patients with a first-time biopsy taken from the oesophagus. Of these patients, 33,365 had BO, 6168 squamous cell carcinoma and 9854 had adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus, diagnosed between 1992 and 2003. The age-adjusted incidence of BO increased among men by 41% (95% confidence interval (CI) 38-44%). Among women, the increase was 23% (CI 19-26%) in 1996-99, followed by a slight decline in 2000-03. The increase was most notable among younger patients (<60 years), whereas the incidence remained stable among men and decreased among women aged 75 or older. Although the number of oesophageal biopsies increased by 21% among men and by 6% among women, the proportion of biopsies with a diagnosis of BO increased to a larger extent, by 33% (CI 30-36%) for men and by 25% (CI 22-29%) for women. The incidence of adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus increased by 28% for men and by 22% for women. Conclusions. Our findings show a significant increase in the incidence of clinically evident BO. Although changes in endoscopic practice may partly explain these findings, a true increase in the incidence of BO seems likely.
- Barrett's oesophagus
- Cancer of the oesophagus