Incidence of adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus and gastric cardia is increasing in most developed countries and strongly associated with obesity and male gender. An underlying increase in the prevalence of gastro-oesophageal reflux has generally been postulated. We suggest that the increase in frequency of reflux and the 2 associated forms of cancer can be explained by growing abdominal pressure brought about by increasing central obesity, most common among men, and sedentary lifestyle, including car use. Abdominal pressure is further accentuated mainly in men by the shift in Western male dressing towards the general use of belts.
Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.