The influence of physical activity on gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), Barrett’s esophagus and adenocarcinoma have been scarcely investigated. Physical activity may play an important role in reducing the risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma with different pathways, including reducing the BMI, affecting patient lifestyle (consuming healthier food, reducing consumption of alcohol) and having a direct effect on the gastrointestinal system (vigorous exercise decreases the splanchnic blood flow and delays gastric emptying). The results of this meta-analysis based on three case-control studies with 10200 symptomatic GERD patients identified among 78034 participants showed that a moderate exercise has a protective effect on GERD symptoms. The only study on Barretts did not show any association with exercise and the few studies on adenocarcinoma reported a low, but statistically significant protective effect of moderate exercise for adenocarcinoma, even after adjusting for BMI.
The Authors finally suggested a possible U-shaped association of physical activity and the risk of GERD, Barretts and Adenocarcinoma, where moderate levels are protective but high levels are hazardous.
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