Brief Article
Copyright ©2011 Baishideng Publishing Group Co., Limited. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Oct 21, 2011; 17(39): 4421-4428
Published online Oct 21, 2011. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i39.4421
Comparative epidemiology of gastric cancer between Japan and China
Yingsong Lin, Junko Ueda, Shogo Kikuchi, Yukari Totsuka, Wen-Qiang Wei, You-Lin Qiao, Manami Inoue
Yingsong Lin, Junko Ueda, Shogo Kikuchi, Department of Public Health, Aichi Medical University School of Medicine, Aichi 480-1195, Japan
Yukari Totsuka, Division of Cancer Development System, National Cancer Center Research Institute, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan
Wen-Qiang Wei, You-Lin Qiao, Department of Cancer Epidemiology, Cancer Institute/Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100730, China
Manami Inoue, Epidemiology and Prevention Division, Research Center for Cancer Prevention and Screening, National Cancer Center Research Institute, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan
Author contributions: Lin Y, Totsuka Y, and Inoue M contributed to the conception of this review article; Lin Y and Ueda J performed the literature research; Lin Y drafted the article; Totsuka Y, Kikuchi S, Wei WQ, Qiao YL, and Inoue M provided valuable comments and revised the article.
Supported by Grant-in-Aid from the Third Term Comprehensive Control Research for Cancer, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan
Correspondence to: Yingsong Lin, MD, PhD, Department of Public Health, Aichi Medical University School of Medicine, 21 Yazako, Karimata, Nagakute-cho, Aichi 480-1195, Japan.
Telephone: +81-561-623311 Fax: +81-561-625270
Received: February 21, 2011
Revised: June 9, 2011
Accepted: June 16, 2011
Published online: October 21, 2011

AIM: To clarify the similarities and differences in gastric cancer epidemiology between Japan and China.

METHODS: A comprehensive literature search of the PubMed database was performed. The relevant literature published in China was also been cited. Data on incidence and mortality rates in 2008 were obtained from the Cancer Mondial database, published by International Agency for Research on Cancer at

RESULTS: Gastric cancer remains a significant public health burden in both Japan and China. The prevalence of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) colonization is high in the adult populations of both countries. Accumulating evidence from intervention studies in both countries has shown the effectiveness of H. pylori eradication in reducing gastric cancer incidence. There are differences, however, in many aspects of gastric cancer, including patterns of incidence and mortality, trends in the prevalence of H. pylori infection, H. pylori strains, the magnitude of risk of gastric cancer related to H. pylori infection, and associations with dietary habits. Compared with China, Japan has seen a more rapid decline in H. pylori infection among adolescents. While Japanese cohort studies have dominated the literature concerning the associations between gastric cancer and dietary habits, numerous case-control studies in China suggest a positive association between a high intake of preserved fish and vegetables and gastric cancer risk. There is a need for a multidisciplinary research approach to understand the interactions between various strains of H. pylori, host factors, and other lifestyle and environmental factors in gastric carcinogenesis in both countries.

CONCLUSION: The shared high incidence of gastric cancer and high prevalence of H. pylori, as well as differences in many aspects of gastric cancer, provide an excellent opportunity to establish Sino-Japanese collaborations.

Keywords: Gastric cancer, Risk factor, Helicobacter pylori, Epidemiology