LSUHealthNo contributes to 1s- of-its-kind study of upper aerodigestive cancers

December 21, 2017

New Orleans, LA - Using data interpreted by LSU Health New Orleans' Louisiana Tumor Registry, a case-control study found for the first time that older people who have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are at higher risk for cancers of the upper respiratory and digestive tract. The study is published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery online December 21, 2017.

The researchers, led by Edward McCoul, MD, MPH, of Ochsner Clinic Foundation, used 2003-2011 data from the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare database to determine whether there was a link between GERD and subsequent malignancies of the upper aerodigestive tract in elderly Americans. The Louisiana Tumor Registry at LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health is one of the 17 population-based cancer registries of the SEER Program.

"Louisiana Tumor Registry is a contributor of the SEER-Medicare data," said Xiao-Cheng Wu, MD, MPH, Professor and Director of the Louisiana Tumor Registry at LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health "Without the population-based state registries, such as Louisiana Tumor Registry, we would not have data for such cancer research."

The 13,805 cases studied included people who were 66 years and older diagnosed with cancers of the larynx, hypopharynx, oropharynx, tonsil, nasopharynx and paranasal sinuses. The control group, without malignancies of the upper aerodigestive tract, was matched for gender, age group and year of diagnosis. The authors found that the adjusted odds ratios for people who have GERD compared with people without GERD to go on to develop these cancers are 2.86 for larynx, 2.54 for hypopharynx, 2.47 for oropharynx, 2.14 for tonsil, 2.04 for nasopharynx and 1.40 paranasal sinuses.

Mei-Chin Hsieh, PhD, MSPH, Assistant Professor-Research at LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health, who is very experienced in using SEER Medicare data, analyzed the data.

"This study is a good example of effective collaborations between clinicians and epidemiologists," notes Dr. Wu. "Many clinicians have excellent ideas for cancer research, and we welcome more opportunities to collaborate with them."

Chronic inflammation, a feature of GERD, has been associated with the development of a number of malignancies. A significant association between GERD and esophageal adenocarcinoma has been recognized for more than a decade. Malignancies of the upper aerodigestive tract account for more than 800,000 cancer cases and 360,000 deaths worldwide each year.

"The findings may suggest an opportunity for earlier detection and intervention among the target population," Wu and her co-authors conclude.
LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans educates Louisiana's health care professionals. The state's health sciences university leader, LSU Health New Orleans includes a School of Medicine, the state's only School of Dentistry, Louisiana's only public School of Public Health, and Schools of Allied Health Professions, Nursing, and Graduate Studies. LSUHSC faculty take care of patients in public and private hospitals and clinics throughout the region. In the vanguard of biosciences research in a number of areas in a worldwide arena, the LSUHSC research enterprise generates jobs and enormous economic impact. LSUHSC faculty have made lifesaving discoveries and continue to work to prevent, advance treatment, or cure disease. To learn more, visit, or

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

Related Public Health Articles from Brightsurf:

COVID-19 and the decolonization of Indigenous public health
Indigenous self-determination, leadership and knowledge have helped protect Indigenous communities in Canada during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and these principles should be incorporated into public health in future, argue the authors of a commentary in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)

Public health consequences of policing homelessness
In a new study examining homelessness, researchers find that policy such a lifestyle has massive public health implications, making sleeping on the street even MORE unhealthy.

Electronic health information exchange improves public health disease reporting
Disease tracking is an important area of focus for health departments in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pandemic likely to cause long-term health problems, Yale School of Public Health finds
The coronavirus pandemic's life-altering effects are likely to result in lasting physical and mental health consequences for many people--particularly those from vulnerable populations--a new study led by the Yale School of Public Health finds.

The Lancet Public Health: US modelling study estimates impact of school closures for COVID-19 on US health-care workforce and associated mortality
US policymakers considering physical distancing measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 face a difficult trade-off between closing schools to reduce transmission and new cases, and potential health-care worker absenteeism due to additional childcare needs that could ultimately increase mortality from COVID-19, according to new modelling research published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

The Lancet Public Health: Access to identification documents reflecting gender identity may improve trans mental health
Results from a survey of over 20,000 American trans adults suggest that having access to identification documents which reflect their identified gender helps to improve their mental health and may reduce suicidal thoughts, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

The Lancet Public Health: Study estimates mental health impact of welfare reform, Universal Credit, in Great Britain
The 2013 Universal Credit welfare reform appears to have led to an increase in the prevalence of psychological distress among unemployed recipients, according to a nationally representative study following more than 52,000 working-age individuals from England, Wales, and Scotland over nine years between 2009-2018, published as part of an issue of The Lancet Public Health journal on income and health.

BU researchers: Pornography is not a 'public health crisis'
Researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) have written an editorial in the American Journal of Public Health special February issue arguing against the claim that pornography is a public health crisis, and explaining why such a claim actually endangers the health of the public.

The Lancet Public Health: Ageism linked to poorer health in older people in England
Ageism may be linked with poorer health in older people in England, according to an observational study of over 7,500 people aged over 50 published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

Study: Public transportation use linked to better public health
Promoting robust public transportation systems may come with a bonus for public health -- lower obesity rates.

Read More: Public Health News and Public Health Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to