Secular Trends in Gastric and Esophageal Cancer Attributable to Dietary Carcinogens From 1990 to 2019 and Projections Until 2044 in China: Population-Based Study

JMIR Public Health Surveill. 2023 Sep 21:9:e48449. doi: 10.2196/48449.


Background: Little is known about trends in or projections of the disease burden of dietary gastric and esophageal cancer (GEC) in China.

Objective: We aim to report GEC deaths and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) from 1990 to 2019, predict them through 2044, and decompose changes in terms of population growth, population aging, and epidemiological changes.

Methods: We retrieved dietary GEC data from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) online database and used joinpoint regression and age-period-cohort models to analyze trends in dietary GEC deaths and DALYs from 1990 to 2019 in China. We used a Bayesian age period cohort model of integrated nested Laplace approximations to predict the disease burden of GEC through 2044 and obtained the estimated population of China from 2020 to 2050 from the Global Health Data Exchange website. Finally, we applied a recently developed decomposition method to attribute changes between 2019 and 2044 to population growth, population aging, and epidemiological changes.

Results: The summary exposure values and age-standardized rates decreased significantly from 1990 to 1999, with percentage changes of -0.06% (95% CI -0.11% to -0.02%) and -0.05% (95% CI -0.1% to -0.02%), respectively. From 1990 to 2019, for dietary esophageal cancer, the percentage change in age-standardized mortality rate (ASMR) was -0.79% (95% CI -0.93% to -0.58%) and the percentage change in age-standardized DALY rate (ASDR) was -0.81% (95% CI -0.94% to -0.61%); these were significant decreases. For dietary stomach cancer, significant decreases were also observed for the percentage change in ASMR (-0.43%, 95% CI -0.55% to -0.31%) and the percentage change in ASDR (-0.47%, 95% CI -0.58% to -0.35%). In addition, data from both the joinpoint regression and annual percentage change analyses demonstrated significantly decreasing trends for the annual percentage change in ASMR and ASDR for GEC attributable to dietary carcinogens. The overall annual percentage change (net drift) was -5.95% (95% CI -6.25% to -5.65%) for dietary esophageal cancer mortality and -1.97% (95% CI -2.11% to -1.83%) for dietary stomach cancer mortality. Lastly, in 2044, dietary esophageal cancer deaths and DALYs were predicted to increase by 192.62% and 170.28%, respectively, due to age structure (121.58% and 83.29%), mortality change (76.81% and 92.43%), and population size (-5.77% and -5.44%). In addition, dietary stomach cancer deaths and DALYs were predicted to increase by 118.1% and 54.08%, with age structure, mortality rate change, and population size accounting for 96.71% and 53.99%, 26.17% and 3.97%, and -4.78% and -3.88% of the change, respectively.

Conclusions: Although the predicted age-standardized rates of mortality and DALYs due to dietary GEC show downward trends, the absolute numbers are still predicted to increase in the next 25 years due to rapid population aging in China.

Keywords: China; dietary carcinogens; esophageal cancer; gastric cancer; prediction; temporal trends.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Carcinogens
  • China / epidemiology
  • Esophageal Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Stomach Neoplasms* / epidemiology


  • Carcinogens