Although there is a clear relationship between family history (FH) and the risk of gastric cancer (GC), quantification is still needed in relation to different histological types and anatomical sites, and in strata of covariates. The objective was to analyze the risk of GC according to first-degree FH in a uniquely large epidemiological consortium of GC. This investigation includes 5946 cases and 12,776 controls from 17 studies of the Stomach Cancer Pooling (StoP) Project consortium. Summary odds ratios (OR) and the corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated by pooling study-specific ORs using fixed-effect model meta-analysis techniques. Stratified analyses were carried out by sex, age, tumor location and histological type, smoking habit, socioeconomic status, alcohol intake and fruit consumption. The pooled OR for GC was 1.84 (95% CI: 1.64-2.04; I2 = 6.1%, P heterogeneity = 0.383) in subjects with vs. those without first-degree relatives with GC. No significant differences were observed among subgroups of sex, age, geographic area or study period. Associations tended to be stronger for non-cardia (OR = 1.82; 95% CI: 1.59-2.05 for subjects with FH) than for cardia GC (OR = 1.38; 95% CI: 0.98-1.77), and for the intestinal (OR = 1.92; 95% CI: 1.62-2.23) than for the diffuse histotype (OR = 1.62; 95% CI: 1.28-1.96). This analysis confirms the effect of FH on the risk of GC, reporting an approximately doubled risk, and provides further quantification of the risk of GC according to the subsite and histotype. Considering these findings, accounting for the presence of FH to carry out correct prevention and diagnosis measures is of the utmost importance.
Keywords: family history; gastric cancer; international consortium; meta-analyses.