Acid reflux heightens risk for certain cancers, study finds

Erica Carbajal - Print  | 

Those with gastroesophageal reflux disease face a two times greater risk of developing larynx and esophagus cancers, according to research published Feb. 22 in Cancer. 

Scientists assessed information from 490,605 people enrolled in the National Institutes of Health AARP Diet and Health Study who were surveyed between 1995-1996. Participants were between the ages of 50 and 71 during the survey period and Medicare claims data showed about 22 percent had GERD. 

Over the next 16 years, 931 developed esophageal adenocarcinoma, 876 developed laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma and 301 developed esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Overall, researchers estimated that 17 percent of these cancers are attributable to GERD. 

"GERD is a common gastrointestinal disorder, but future prospective studies are needed to replicate our findings," researchers said. "If replicated, they may inform clinical surveillance of GERD patients and suggest new avenues for prevention of these malignancies." 

To view the full findings, click here.

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