Epidemiological Review of Gastroesophageal Junction Adenocarcinoma in Asian Countries

Digestion. 2022;103(1):29-36. doi: 10.1159/000519602. Epub 2021 Oct 29.


Background: Similar trends in the prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), obesity, and Helicobacter pylori infection have been observed in Asian and Western countries despite their time differences. However, it is unclear whether the prevalence of gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinomas in Asian countries is increasing. In this review, we discuss the epidemiological trends of gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma in Asian countries.

Summary: The prevalence of GERD is increasing in Asian countries, but most cases are considered mild. Obesity is a serious problem worldwide, but it is considered less serious in Asia than in Western countries. In Asian countries where gastric cancer is common, both cardiac and noncardiac cancers are associated with high rates of H. pylori infection, which is considered a carcinogenic risk factor for both sites of cancer. The widespread use of H. pylori eradication therapy for chronic gastritis in several Asian countries has not directly led to an increased prevalence of esophageal adenocarcinoma. One of the originating sites of junctional adenocarcinoma in most Asian countries is Barrett's esophagus, with short-segment Barrett's esophagus having much lower carcinogenicity than long-segment Barrett's esophagus. Key Messages: Considering the future trends of several risk factors for gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma in Asian countries, it is likely that the incidence of gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma will gradually increase, but not at a rate that exceeds that of squamous cell carcinoma, as in Western countries.

Keywords: Epidemiology; Gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma; Gastroesophageal reflux disease; Helicobacter pylori; Obesity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma* / epidemiology
  • Barrett Esophagus* / epidemiology
  • Esophageal Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Esophagogastric Junction
  • Helicobacter Infections* / epidemiology
  • Helicobacter pylori*
  • Humans