Aim: To assess whether secular trends in stomach cancer mortality were correlated with trends in infant mortality rate (IMR) or gross domestic product (GDP). Methods: Data from seven European countries were analyzed. We used Poisson regression to describe mortality trends among birth cohorts of 1865-1939 and correlation coefficients to determine associations with IMR/GDP. Results: Large differences were observed between birth cohorts in mortality from stomach cancer. In each country, these cohort differences were closely related to IMR/GDP levels at birth time. However, stronger associations were observed with measures of living conditions during later life. In comparisons between countries, stomach cancer mortality rates were not consistently related to national levels of IMR/GDP. Conclusion: General living conditions in childhood don’t seem to have had a predominant effect on secular trends in stomach cancer mortality. The mortality decline is likely to be related to more specific factors, such as declining H. pylori prevalence.

Europe, Gross national product, Infant mortality, Mortality decline, Stomach neoplasm,
European Journal of Cancer
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Amiri, M, Kunst, A.E, Janssen, F, & Mackenbach, J.P. (2006). Trends in stomach cancer mortality in relation to living conditions in childhood. A study among cohorts born between 1860 and 1939 in seven European countries. European Journal of Cancer, 42(18), 3212–3218. doi:10.1016/j.ejca.2006.04.020