The incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma continues to rise: analysis of period and birth cohort effects on recent trends

Ann Oncol. 2012 Dec;23(12):3155-3162. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mds181. Epub 2012 Jul 30.


Background: During the past four decades, the incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) has increased markedly in Western populations. Recent reports have suggested that the rate of increase has slowed or plateaued.

Patients and methods: Using data from cancer registries in Australia, the United States and Sweden, we examined incidence trends for esophageal and gastric cardia tumors between 1984 and 2008 using joinpoint analyses and age-period-cohort models.

Results: EAC incidence continues to undergo statistically significant annual increases in Australia and the United States, although the rate of increase has slowed. Among men, incidence increased annually by 2.2% [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.5% to 2.9%] between 1994 and 2008 in Australia and 1.5% (95% CI 0.2% to 2.8%) between 1998 and 2008 in the United States. EAC incidence among men remained unchanged in Sweden between 2001 and 2008 (P = 0.52). EAC incidence among women showed significant linear increases between 1984 and 2008. Age-period-cohort models suggested strong effects for both period and birth cohort on EAC incidence in Australia and the United States, and a strong period effect for Sweden.

Conclusions: EAC incidence continues to increase in Australia and the United States. The continued increases, even among more recent birth cohorts, suggest that EAC incidence will continue to rise during coming decades.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / epidemiology*
  • Adenocarcinoma / mortality
  • Age Distribution
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Cohort Effect
  • Cohort Studies
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • SEER Program / statistics & numerical data
  • SEER Program / trends
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology