Obesity is a risk factor for gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). It is generally considered that intra-abdominal pressure in obese subjects is involved in the pathogenesis of GERD through acid exposure to the esophagus. Recently, visceral fat has been recognized as an endocrine organ that secretes various adipocytokines including adiponectin. The aim of this study was to elucidate the relation between adiponectin and erosive esophagitis. This was a cross-sectional retrospective observational study: 2405 consecutive subjects who underwent screening esophago-gastro-duodenoscopy with serum adiponectin measurement as part of their physical check-up programs were analyzed. Clinical factors were compared between subjects with and without erosive esophagitis. The association between adiponectin and erosive esophagitis was assessed using a bootstrapping re-sampling method after adjustment for factors that tended to be different in univariate analysis. Serum adiponectin levels were significantly lower in those with erosive esophagitis (8.17 μg/ml) than in those without (10.1). The erosive esophagitis group had a greater body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) and a higher prevalence of hiatal hernia. Using the bootstrap method, with a lower adiponectin cut-off value of 3-7 μg/ml, the lower limit of the 95% confidence interval of the adjusted odds ratio consistently exceeded 1 after adjustment for BMI and hiatal hernia in men. When adjusting for WC instead of BMI, the effect of adiponectin was reduced but remained significant at a lower cut-off value (3-3.5 μg/ml). Low serum adiponectin levels may be associated with an increased risk for erosive esophagitis in men.
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