A Distinct Epidemiologic Pattern of Precancerous Lesions of Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma in a High-risk Area of Huai'an, Jiangsu Province, China.


Key Laboratory of Environmental Medicine and Engineering of Ministry of Education, and Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, School of Public Health, Southeast University, Nanjing, P.R. China. [Email] [Email]


Better understanding of esophageal precancerous lesions (EPL) can inform prevention strategies for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Here, a cross-sectional epidemiologic study based on the Early Diagnosis and Early Treatment Project of Esophageal Cancer database from 2011 to 2017 was performed to fully investigate and characterize the epidemiology of EPL in rural Huai'an District. Data of 11,518 participants ages 35-75 years were collected through face-to-face interviews by questionnaire. Participants underwent a routine endoscopy examination, tissues were biopsied, and diagnosed according to the histologic criteria of dysplasia. Unconditional univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to obtain crude and adjusted odds ratios and corresponding 95% confidence intervals, respectively. A total of 667 subjects were diagnosed with EPL. Factors associated with an increased risk of EPL included: drinking shallow well water and surface water, irregular diet, excessive smoking, exposure to secondhand smoke, consumption of corn, corn flour, pickled food, fried food, and hot food, and having a history of digestive system diseases. In addition, liquor use, but not other alcohol types, contributed to risk of EPL. Consumption of deep well water and vegetables, fruits, and animal livers were associated with lower EPL risk. This study suggested a completely distinct pattern that alcohol use plays only a minor role in EPL and excessive tobacco use shows a significant association in rural Huai'an District, while eating habits and environmental exposure may be the dominant factors. This work may be promising to provide scientific evidence to support primary prevention of ESCC in this region.