Background: Better understanding about gastric cancer incidence patterns among Hispanics by birthplace, socioeconomic status (SES), and acculturation can improve preventive strategies and disease models. Methods: Incidence rates, rate ratios, and estimated annual percent change (EAPC) in rates of anatomic and histologic subtype-specific gastric cancer were calculated by age, sex, and nativity among Hispanics using California Cancer Registry data from 1988 through 2004. Incidence rates in 1998 to 2002 were compared by neighborhood SES and Hispanic enclave status according to 2000 US Census data. Results: Incidence rates of diffuse gastric cancer increased from 1988 through 2004 among foreign-born Hispanic men (EAPC: 3.5%, 95% CI: 1.5%-5.5%) and U.S.-born Hispanic women (EAPC: 3.0%, 95% CI: 0.7%-5.3%). During the same time period, incidence rates of intestinal gastric cancer declined significantly and both cardia and noncardia gastric cancer were steady or declined among foreign-born and U.S.-born Hispanic men and women. Noncardia and both intestinal and diffuse gastric cancer were more common in foreign-born than U.S.-born Hispanic men and women, and in those from lower SES, higher enclave neighborhoods. By contrast, among younger and middle-aged Hispanic men, cardia tumors were more common in the U.S.-born than the foreign-born, and in higher SES, lower enclave neighborhoods. Conclusions: Varying gastric cancer risk factors among Hispanic subgroups and increasing rates of diffuse gastric cancer in foreign-born Hispanic men and U.S.-born Hispanic women merit further investigation to identify separate disease etiologies. Impact: Age, sex, birthplace, SES, and acculturation modify gastric cancer incidence in Hispanics and should be considered when examining disease risk and prevention.
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