(HealthDay News) — For patients with Barrett’s esophagus (BE), levels of leptin, high-molecular-weight adiponectin, and insulin resistance correlate with esophageal adenocarcinoma (EA) risk, according to a study published in the August issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

To examine the role of obesity-induced hyperinsulinemia and dysregulation of adipokines in the development of BE and its progression to cancer, Catherine Duggan, Ph.D., from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and colleagues measured fasting levels of glucose, insulin, leptin, and adiponectin in 392 patients enrolled in the Seattle Barrett’s Esophagus Study.

The researchers found that increasing homeostatic model assessment scores correlated with an increasing risk for EA. Within the first 3 years of study entry, the association was strongest (hazard ratio [HR], 2.45). There was also a significant correlation for leptin levels with an increased risk of EA within 3 years (HR, 2.51) and 6 years (HR, 2.07) of baseline.

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There was a non-linear inverse association between the level of high-molecular-weight adiponectin and the risk of EA, with the strongest associations observed in the second tertile (HR, 0.34). There was no association observed between metabolic syndrome and risk of EA.

“Among patients with BE, increased levels of leptin and insulin resistance are associated with increased risk for EA, whereas increased levels of high-molecular-weight adiponectin is associated inversely with EA,” the authors write. “These biomarkers might be used to determine cancer risk among patients with BE.”