Population studies in the Pacific Basin showed that gastric carcinomas of intestinal type often concur with distant mucosal changes (DMCs). In the present work, the presence of DMCs was investigated in populations dwelling in the Atlantic Basin. A total of 1737 gastrectomy specimens were reviewed: 627 in New York, 435 in Reykjavik, 198 in Buenos Aires, 186 in Florence, 174 in London and the remaining 117 in Stockholm. A total of 17,282 sections were carefully scrutinized. The following DMCs were investigated: intramucosal glandular cysts, gastric cells with ciliated metaplasia, with large or small mucus negative vacuoles, and extensive intestinal metaplasia (IM). The highest frequencies of DMCs were found in Florence for specimens with intestinal type carcinoma: 41.3% had intramucosal cysts, 22.4% had cells with ciliated metaplasia, 12.9% cells with large vacuoles, and 50.9% had high IM. The highest frequency of gastric cells with small vacuoles was recorded in New York (9.1%), also in specimens with intestinal type carcinoma. Significantly lower DMCs percentages were found in specimens with carcinomas of diffuse type, and miscellaneous gastric diseases. The occurrence of DMCs was not influenced to a significant degree by the number of sections available per gastrectomy. Since environmental factors trigger the evolution of intestinal type carcinomas and as DMCs also occurred in specimens without carcinoma-although at a significantly lower rate--it is conceivable that DMCs are also evoked by environmental factors (before a gastric carcinoma ensues). DMCs were found in specimens having intestinal carcinomas either in the cardia, the corpus or the antrum. Thus, DMCs seem to provide the adequate "soil" for the development of gastric carcinomas of intestinal type, independently of the future localization of that tumor in the stomach.