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Open Access Research article

Visceral obesity and the risk of Barrett's esophagus in Japanese patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Tomoyuki Akiyama, Masato Yoneda, Masahiko Inamori*, Hiroshi Iida, Hiroki Endo, Kunihiro Hosono, Kyoko Yoneda, Koji Fujita, Tomoko Koide, Chikako Tokoro, Hirokazu Takahashi, Ayumu Goto, Yasunobu Abe, Hiroyuki Kirikoshi, Noritoshi Kobayashi, Kensuke Kubota, Satoru Saito and Atsushi Nakajima

Author Affiliations

Gastroenterology Division, Yokohama City University School of Medicine, 3-9 Fukuura, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama, Japan

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BMC Gastroenterology 2009, 9:56  doi:10.1186/1471-230X-9-56

Published: 21 July 2009



The association between obesity and the risk of Barrett's esophagus (BE) is unclear. Furthermore, the association between visceral obesity and the risk of BE is entirely unknown.


We conducted a retrospective study in 163 patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) who underwent both endoscopy and abdominal CT at an interval of less than a year at our institution. BE was endoscopically diagnosed based on the Prague C & M Criteria. The surface areas of visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) were calculated from CT images at the level of the umbilicus. The correlations between the BMI, VAT, and SAT and the risk of BE were examined by univariate and multivariate analyses.


Sixty-nine of the 163 study participants (42.3%) were diagnosed to have endoscopic BE, which was classified as short-segment BE (SSBE) in almost all of the cases. There were no significant differences in the age or gender distribution between the groups with and without BE. According to the results of the univariate analysis, VAT was significantly associated with the risk of BE; the BMI tended to be higher in the group with BE than in the group without BE, but this relation did not reach statistical significance. VAT was independently associated with the risk of BE even after adjustment for the BMI.


In Japanese patients with NAFLD, obesity tended to be associated with the risk of BE, and this risk appeared to be mediated for the most part by abdominal visceral adiposity.