The incidence and prevalence of eosinophilic esophagitis has been increasing at rates higher than previously estimated, according to results of a meta-analysis published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics.
Alfredo J. Lucendo, MD, BA, PhD, of the department of gastroenterology at Hospital General de Tomelloso, and colleagues wrote that previous studies have explored just how common EoE is, but those came before a change in definition cast a wider net.
“The recent consideration that patients who respond to [proton pump inhibitors] are within the spectrum of the disease rather than considered a different entity, along with new data available from 2018 that provides the highest frequency for the disease reported so far, makes the previously reported prevalence and incidence figures outdated,” they wrote.
Investigators searched the literature for studies published up to September 2018 that reported the prevalence and incidence of EoE in the general population.
In 20 studies that met their criteria, researchers determined that the pooled prevalence of EoE was 34.4 cases per 100,000 inhabitants (95% CI, 23.1–47.5), including a higher rate among adults (42.2; 95% CI, 31.1–55) compared with children (34; 95% CI, 22.3–49.2). The pooled incidence rates were 6.6 per 100,000 person-years (95% CI, 3–11.7) in children and 7.7 per 100,000 person-years.
Researchers also compared studies conducted under subsequent definitions for EoE and observed a steady rise in incidence and prevalence rates over time.
Lucendo and colleagues wrote that the frequency of EoE had progressively increased over the years and the change in epidemiology goes beyond simply including patients diagnosed under updated definitions.
“Our results confirm that EoE currently constitutes a highly prevalent disorder, with rising incidence and prevalence rates in recent years,” they concluded. “The high, and still ongoing prevalence of EoE in developed countries, should prompt resources to be allocated in order to face the costs associated with the diagnosis and treatment of EoE, and to design sustainable health policies with regard to the chronic nature and impact of the disease on patients’ health.” – by Alex Young
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.