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Drinking Wine May Reduce Risk of Barrett’s Esophagus, Precursor to Esophageal Cancer, Kaiser Permanente Study Shows

March 2, 2009

TOPICS: Health Research  



Drinking a glass of wine a day may halve the risk of contracting an esophageal condition that’s a precursor to esophageal cancer, according to a study by Kaiser Permanente’s Division of Research.

The study was published in the March edition of Gastroenterology.

The condition, Barrett’s Esophagus, affects 5 percent of Americans and occurs when heartburn or acid reflux permanently damages the esophageal lining. There are no symptoms or warning signs for Barrett’s Esophagus; it’s generally discovered through an endoscopy for anemia, heartburn or bleeding ulcer.

But people with Barrett’s Esophagus have been found to have a 30-fold or 40-fold increased risk of developing esophageal adenocarcinoma, a cancer whose incidence has increased 500 percent in the United States in the past 30 years.

The study found that people who drank one or more glasses of red or white wine a day had less than half the risk (or 56 percent reduced risk) of Barrett’s Esophagus.

For more information, read this press release.