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Z Gastroenterol. 2009 Oct;47(10):1065-8. doi: 10.1055/s-0028-1109331. Epub 2009 Oct 6.

[Reflux disease and Barrett's oesophagus - are there gender-specific differences?].

[Article in German]

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Klinik und Poliklinik für Innere Medizin I, Universität Regensburg.


Studies of the prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) have reported that male gender is an independent risk factor especially for erosive reflux disease (ERD). Non erosive GERD (NERD) is more common in females. The rate of prevalence and severity of reflux symptoms increase in females with age, while among men it peaked between 50 and 70 years and thereafter declined. The gender effect may be caused by differences in parietal cell mass between males and females. Barrett's esophagus is a major complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease and is associated with 30-125 times increased risk of developing carcinoma. Most studies have found gender differences with females significantly less likely to have Barrett's esophagus with a 20-yr age shift between the parallel age specific prevalence curves, for males between the ages of 20 and 59 yr and for females between the ages of 20 and 79 yr. Male predominance for ERD as a precursor to Barrett's esophagus may be partly explain the greater male/female sex ratio for Barrett's esophagus. Female sex hormones may play a protective role. Knowledge of gender-specific differences of reflux disease and Barrett's esophagus may be helpful to improve surveillance and screening strategies, although distinct recommendations are lacking so far .

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