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Visceral Fat Obesity Increases Risk of Reflux Erosive Esophagitis Among Adults, Study Finds

A study has revealed that excess fat around the middle or visceral fat is a risk factor for reflux erosive esophagitis among adults.

Visceral Fat Obesity Increases Risk of Reflux Erosive Esophagitis Among Adults, Study Finds
Photo: Visceral Fat | InStyleHealth

What Is Reflux Erosive Esophagitis?

Reflux erosive esophagitis is a medical condition which is a severe reflux esophagitis characterized by mucosal breaks, like erosions or ulcerations on endoscopy. There is little association between endoscopic and histologic findings in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.

Usually, a reflux disease involves the distal 8-10 cm of the esophagus and the gastroesophageal junction. The disease is characterized as patchy in distribution.

Chronic symptoms or mucosal damage produced by the abnormal reflux of gastric contents into the esophagus.

Reflux erosive esophagitis is an esophagitis in which there is esophageal damage. Esophagitis is inflammation, irritation, or swelling of the lining of the esophagus – this is the tube that runs the throat to the stomach.

What Are The Symptoms of Reflux Erosive Esophagitis?

Clinical researches indicate that the prevalent symptoms of esophagitis are chest pain, dysphagia or swallowing discomfort, and heartburn.

Other symptoms of esophagitis may include:

  • Bleeding, seen either as blood in vomit or in stools (black or tarry stools)
  • Burning sensation in the esophagus
  • Difficulty when swallowing
  • Feeling like something is stuck in your throat

What Are The Treatments for Reflux Erosive Esophagitis?

Treatments available for reflux erosive esophagitis will depend on the cause and may include the following medications:

  • Acid-reducing medications, such as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) or H2 blockers, if GERD is the cause
  • Antibiotics if a bacterial infection is the cause
  • Pain medication or pain relievers
  • Steroid medication to reduce inflammation
  • While undergoing treatment, your doctor will also talk to you about lifestyle steps you can take to ease the discomfort of esophagitis.

Research covered 433 healthy adults with ages from 40-69 years old, where 234 are men and 199 are women. Experts looked at the potential correlation between obesity-related factors, waist circumference, and body mass index and the presence of reflux erosive esophagitis.

Median BMI, at baseline, abdominal diameter, TFA, VFA, and the fat area ratio values were much higher in men than in women; however, the median SFA was similar. Mean serum adiponectin level was significantly lower in men.

The reflux erosive esophagitis had a prevalence of 27.2%. VFA came out higher in individuals with vs without erosive esophagitis. The erosive esophagitis, in the same vein, was more frequently noted among individuals with vs without visceral fat obesity.

With the multivariable logistic regression analysis, visceral fat obesity revealed the strongest link to erosive esophagitis, among obesity-related factors. Odds of having esophagitis were twice greater for individuals with vs without visceral fat obesity.

The other factors independently correlated with erosive esophagitis were daily alcohol intake, gastric atrophy open type, and never-smoking history.


Source: Esophagus 2021;18:889-899

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