(HealthDay News) — Among patients with Barrett’s esophagus who die within 10 years of diagnosis, approximately 2% of deaths are caused by esophageal cancer, and other causes such as ischemic heart disease are much more frequent, according to research published in the June issue of Gastroenterology.

Masoud Solaymani-Dodaran, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., of the Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran, and colleagues conducted a population-based study in England examining cause-specific mortality for a cohort of 8,448 patients with Barrett’s esophagus who were matched with 155,212 controls.

The researchers found that, compared with the control population, patients with Barrett’s esophagus had an increased risk of death from neoplastic, respiratory, and digestive causes, but not circulatory disorders. Among patients with Barrett’s esophagus, 4.5% of all deaths were caused by esophageal cancer, corresponding to an annual mortality rate of 0.14% and a cumulative 10-year risk of death of about 2%. Compared to esophageal cancer, nearly four times as many patients with Barrett’s esophagus died from ischemic heart disease, making it the largest single cause of death.

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“Among patients with Barrett’s esophagus, approximately 2% will die of esophageal cancer within 10 years,” the authors write. “However, patients with Barrett’s esophagus died more frequently of other causes, such as ischemic heart disease.”