Background: Annually, there are more than 6 million deaths from a type of malignant neoplasia worldwide. In developing countries, the highest rates of incidence of malignant neoplasias are uterine cervical cancer, stomach, lung, esophagus, pharynx, and liver cancers. Recent estimates on the incidence of cancer worldwide show that, in 1990, stomach cancer (SC) was the second most frequent type of cancer (900,000 new cases annually). Rates of incidence have decreased consistently in nearly all areas of the world. In Mexico, however, rates of incidence and mortality have increased gradually between 1980 and 1997; in 1995, 4,685 people died of SC in Mexico. This report presents a descriptive analysis of SC mortality in Mexico.
Methods: A mortality database edited from the electronic files of the National Institute of Informatics, Statistics and Geography (INEGI) in Mexico was used; population denominators were edited by the Mexican National Population Council (Conapo). Adjusted mortality rates, taking as standard of reference the population of Mexico City by sex, year, and 10-year age groups were calculated as well as the sex ratio for the 1980-1997 period. To evaluate the magnitude of risks by state, the standardized mortality ratio (SMR) was calculated; prematurity was evaluated through the potential lost-life years index (PLLYI). The analysis was carried out using the Excel and Stata 5.0 software programs.
Results: During the years from 1980 to 1997, in Mexico the total number of deaths from SC was 76,315. The male:female ratio was 1.2:1.0. SMR by state showed that the states of Yucatán, Sonora, Zacatecas, Michoacán, and Chiapas had higher mortality rates. The PLLYI was higher for males in the states of Chiapas, Sonora, Chihuahua, Zacatecas, and Southern Baja California, and higher for females in Chiapas, Oaxaca, Yucatán, Puebla, and Campeche.
Conclusions: World statistics on mortality caused by SC suggest a decreasing trend. Findings for this study show an increase in the adjusted mortality rates by SC during the 1980-1997 period in Mexico. However, when analyzing the different indicators that reveal risks, magnitude, and prematurity of mortality, there is a differential trend in mortality by sex that includes regional patterns probably related to different socioeconomic levels.