Introduction: The etiology of gastric cancer is multifactorial. Marked differences in the incidence of gastric cancer among different ethnic groups living in the same geographical area have been observed.
Aim and methods: This study looked at ethnic and dietary factors in patients with gastric cancer diagnosed at a tertiary referral centre in Sikkim over a period of one year. Patients of 60 years and above were included in the study and divided into four ethnic groups : Bhutias, Lepchas, Rais and other groups.
Results: 211 cases underwent upper GI endoscopy and 32 were diagnosed to have gastric cancer. Gastric cancer incidence was highest in Bhutia ethnic group. A trend towards higher intake of smoked meats, fermented vegetables, salt tea, and H.pylori positivity in the Bhutia ethnic group was associated with higher incidence of gastric cancer as compared to other ethnic groups.
Conclusion: The study with a referral centre bias showed that Bhutia ethnic group had a higher incidence of gastric cancer as compared to other ethnic groups.