Most cases of gastric cancers occur in non-industrialized countries but there is scarce information about the epidemiology of this illness in these countries. Our study examined whether there was a variation in the prevalence of gastric cancer in Lima, Perú over the last 2 decades. Subjects older than 29 years of age were included. They underwent an esophagogastroduedonoscopy at 3 socioeconomically different health facilities in Lima: a county hospital (7,168 subjects), a Peruvian-Japanese Clinic (14,794 individuals) and a private hospital (4,893 individuals). Birth cohort prevalence of gastric cancer was used. Regression models were calculated to predict the future prevalence of gastric cancer. It was found that the birth cohort prevalence of gastric cancer decreased in Perú from 22.7 to 2% (p < 0.001), from 12 to 0.5% (p < 0.001), and from 6.5 to 0.1% (p < 0.001) in the low, middle and high socioeconomic group, respectively. The prevalence of intestinal metaplasia decreased from 44.3 to 12.5% (p < 0.001), from 28.4 to 5% (p < 0.001), and from 19.4 to 2.2% (p < 0.001) in the low, middle and high socioeconomic status, respectively. These trends will likely persist over the future decades. Nevertheless, the prevalence of gastric cancer remains high in subjects older than 59 years of age in the low socioeconomic status. It is concluded that the prevalence of gastric cancer is decreasing in Perú, similar to the current trend undergoing in industrialized nations. However, there are still specific groups with high prevalence that might benefit from screening for early detection and treatment.
(c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.