Genetic etiology of gastric carcinoma: II. Segregation analysis of gastric pH, nitrate, and nitrite

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A study of gastric pH, nitrate, and nitrite in 110 families collected as part of a cohort from the Narino region of Colombia is presented. All three traits are familial and have a significant linearly increasing age trend. Gastric pH has a clear bimodal distribution but does not show Mendelian segregation. The nitrate distribution is slightly skewed, but generational heterogeneity explains the data best. Gastric nitrite is also biomodal with a clear break at concentration 1.08 μg/ml, and 74% of the observations at zero concentration; it shows a recessive Mendelian segregation with significant residual spouse correlation. This model also fits the data best when nitrite is dichotomized into detected (measurable) and undetected values. The estimated frequency of the recessive allele is .57, so that an estimated 32% of the population sampled are recessives. Recessives whose spouses have measuarable nitrite have an estimated penetrance of 99.3% at age 30 years, whereas those whose spouses have zero or undetected nitrite have a penetrance of only 8.8% at age 30 years. It appears that gastric nitrite, and, from our previous study of these families, chronic atrophic gastritis are important biologic markers for the early identification of persons predisposed to gastric cancer. Copyright © 1987 Wiley-Liss, Inc., A Wiley Company

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