It was formerly the custom to regard the disease as especially common in men, and the statement of Brinton, that it is twice as frequent in males as in females, was for a long time regarded as indisputable. More extensive observations, however, have shown that the data which formed the basis of that author's researches were insufficient to warrant many of the conclusions which he drew from them. Thus, Fox found that in his series of 1,303 cases the sexes were almost equally represented (680 : 623), while in the 2,214 analysed by Welch, nearly all of which had been verified by necropsy, there were 1,233 males and 981 females, a ratio of 5 to 4. With the aid of recent statistics we find that out of a total of 3,679 post-mortem examinations of gastric cancer, 2,162 were males and 1,517 females, which gives a proportion of rather less than 6 to 4.1
Clinical records afford somewhat similar results, for out of 130,000 persons admitted into the medical wards of hospitals in London, we find that .6 per cent, of the males and .4 per cent, of the females were considered to be suffering from malignant disease of the stomach. Both these sets of figures, however, probably exaggerate the frequency of the complaint in men, since all post-mortem statistics present an excess of males, while the medical admissions of women into hospitals include not only a considerable number of obstetric cases, but also an undue proportion of minor ailments.
The bills of mortality of certain great cities seem to indicate that very little difference exists in the liability of the two sexes.
Dr. Tatham informs us that in England and Wales, during the four years 1897-1900, the deaths from malignant disease of the stomach comprised 8,369 males and 8,355 females. Ledoux- Lebard states that in Vienna the incidence of the complaint is practically equal in the two sexes. Welch came to a similar conclusion after an exhaustive study of the records of the Board of Health for New York ; while in Hamburg, Beiche found that out of every hundred deaths in each sex, 1.3 of the males and 11 of the females died from cancer of the stomach. It may therefore be concluded that although men may be slightly more often affected by the disease than women, the difference is too insignificant to merit special consideration.
With regard to the influence of sex upon the situation of the growth there is very little to be said; but from our own cases it would appear that stenosis of the pylorus is rather more common in women than in men, while the reverse is the case as regards disease of the body of the stomach.