Risk factors associated with precancerous lesions of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma: A screening study in a high risk Chinese population

Yawen Sun, Tao Zhang, Wenjie Wu, Deli Zhao, Nan Zhang, Yongchun Cui, Yanxun Liu, Jianhua Gu, Peipei Lu, Fuzhong Xue, Jinming Yu, Jialin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) has been having a high mortality rate in China. Most patients are diagnosed in advanced stages, leading to the poor prognosis and low 5-year survival rate. Detection of precancerous lesions or early cancers is the key to improving this situation. Although previous studies have identified some risk factors for ESCC, they rarely paid attention to the premalignant esophageal lesions. We thus initiated a population-based screening study aiming to assess risk factors associated with esophageal precancerous lesions (EPLs) in a high risk Chinese population. Methods: From September 2013 to July 2015, we screened residents aged 40-69 years from 53 randomly selected communities in Feicheng, China (n = 5076). Each participant went through questionnaire interview, physical examination, endoscopy and biopsy. Using logistic regression, we compared participants with EPLs to that with normal esophageal mucosa for finding potential risk factors of EPLs. Results: A total of 570 participants were diagnosed with EPLs. We observed no association between EPLs and tobacco smoking or alcohol consumption in unadjusted or adjusted model. In the adjusted model, the OR (95% CI) was 1.84 (1.18-2.89) for people of drinking shallow-well water comparing to people who was drinking tap-water. In a comparison of participants with good oral health, the ESD/ESCC ORs (95% CI) for those with very poor or poor oral health, were 1.78 (1.28-2.49) and 1.58 (1.16-2.15) respectively. However, no statistical significance was observed after adjustment. Moreover, cereal straw heating (OR= 1.74, 95% CI: 0.90-3.36, P=0.099) may lead to increased risk of EPLs. Conclusion: In Feicheng population, tobacco smoking or alcohol consumption may not be risk factors of EPLs. Low-quality drinking water raised the EPLs risk. Bad house heating materials, such as cereal straw, may lead to high EPLs risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3284-3290
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cancer
Issue number14
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Drinking water
  • Esophageal precancerous lesions
  • Esophageal squamous dysplasia
  • House heating method
  • Oral health
  • Population-based


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