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Most cases of esophageal adenocarcinoma are believed to arise from Barrett’s esophagus.
Esophageal adenocarcinoma occurs more frequently in white men over 50 years old, as well as in people with frequent symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux, in smokers and in people who are obese.
Figure 1 presents the age-adjusted annual incidence rates for EAC from a broad geographical range of cancer registries and highlights the considerable international variation in EAC incidence (Curado et al., 2007). Here, we will provide an overview of the descriptive epidemiology of EAC and BE, and provide a summary of the risk factors for these conditions. This review is restricted to the effects of host characteristics and environmental exposures, and does not address risks associated with constitutional genotypes, since several large-scale genome-wide association studies are being conducted currently and will publish their findings shortly. As a result of these increases, EAC became the most common form of esophageal cancer in the United States and most other Western countries in the late 1990s (Curado et al., 2007; Holmes and Vaughan, 2007). In all populations, the greatest increase in incidence has been observed among older white men.