Rising trends of gastric cancer and peptic ulcer in the 19th century
Article first published online: 26 JUL 2010
Published 2010. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA
Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Volume 32, Issue 7, pages 901–907, October 2010
How to Cite
Sonnenberg, A. and Baron, J. H. (2010), Rising trends of gastric cancer and peptic ulcer in the 19th century. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 32: 901–907. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2010.04413.x
- Issue published online: 3 SEP 2010
- Article first published online: 26 JUL 2010
- Publication data Submitted 28 May 2010 First decision 23 June 2010 Resubmitted 29 June 2010 Accepted 1 July 2010 EV Pub Online 26 July 2010
Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2010; 32: 901–907
Background The risk of dying from gastric cancer appears to have increased among consecutive generations born during the 19th century.
Aim To follow the time trends of hospitalization for gastric cancer and test whether they confirm such increase.
Methods Inpatient records of the last two centuries from four hospitals in Scotland and three US hospitals were analysed. Proportional rates of hospitalization for gastric cancer, gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer were calculated during consecutive 5-year periods.
Results The data from all seven cities revealed strikingly similar patterns. No hospital admissions for gastric cancer or peptic ulcer were recorded prior to 1800. Hospital admissions for gastric cancer increased in an exponential fashion throughout the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. In a majority of cities, the rise in hospitalization for gastric cancer preceded a similar rise in hospitalization for gastric ulcer. Hospitalization for these two latter diagnoses clearly preceded hospitalization for duodenal ulcer by 20–40 years.
Conclusions The occurrence of gastric cancer, gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer markedly increased during the 19th century. Improvements in hygiene may have resulted in the decline of infections by other gastrointestinal organisms that had previously kept concomitant infection by Helicobacter pylori suppressed.