Background: A higher prevalence of chronic atrophic gastritis (CAG) occurs in younger adults in Asia. We used Stomach Age to examine the different mechanisms of CAG between younger adults and elderly individuals, and established a simple model of cancer risk that can be applied to CAG surveillance.
Methods: Stomach Age was determined by FISH examination of telomere length in stomach biopsies. Δψm was also determined by flow cytometry. Sixty volunteers were used to confirm the linear relationship between telomere length and age while 120 subjects were used to build a mathematical model by a multivariate analysis. Overall, 146 subjects were used to evaluate the validity of the model, and 1,007 subjects were used to evaluate the relationship between prognosis and Δage (calculated from the mathematical model). ROC curves were used to evaluate the relationship between prognosis and Δage and to determine the cut-off point for Δage.
Results: We established that a tight linear relationship between the telomere length and the age. The telomere length was obvious different between patients with and without CAG even in the same age. Δψm decreased in individuals whose Stomach Age was greater than real age, especially in younger adults. A mathematical model of Stomach Age (real age + Δage) was successfully constructed which was easy to apply in clinical work. A higher Δage was correlated with a worse outcome. The criterion of Δage >3.11 should be considered as the cut-off to select the subgroup of patients who require endoscopic surveillance.
Conclusion: Variation in Stomach Age between individuals of the same biological age was confirmed. Attention should be paid to those with a greater Stomach Age, especially in younger adults. The Δage in the Simple Model can be used as a criterion to select CAG patients for gastric cancer surveillance.
Keywords: Chronic atrophic gastritis; Gastric cancer surveillance; Model; Stomach Age.