Colorectal cancer (CRC), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease are considered important emerging diseases in the Asia Pacific (AP) region. The incidence rate of CRC is the highest among gastrointestinal cancers in the region surpassing that of gastric cancer. However, population CRC screening is limited by availability of adequate health resources and financing. GERD is a highly prevalent disease in AP with the prevalence of GERD symptoms and reflux esophagitis reported to be increasing. The usage of proton pump inhibitors has also been reported to be high. The incidence and prevalence of IBD is not as high as in the west but is now an increasingly recognizable disease in the AP region. Being a complicated disease, IBD will pose a huge financial burden with the increasing use of expensive biological drugs. In tandem with the exponential increase in obesity and diabetes mellitus in AP, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease will become the most important liver disease in the region in the coming years. These emerging diseases reflect the continued fast-paced socioeconomic development in the region with marked lifestyle changes and increasing affluence.
Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The author declares that there is nothing to disclose.
Address correspondence to: Khean-Lee Goh, MBBS, MD, FRCP (Glasg, London), FACG, FASGE, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Received January 14, 2017
Accepted April 7, 2017