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Eur J Epidemiol. 1995 Feb;11(1):67-73.

Nitrosamine, nitrate and nitrite in relation to gastric cancer: a case-control study in Marseille, France.

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  • 1International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.


A case-control study on gastric cancer and diet was conducted in Marseille (France). Ninety-two patients with histologically confirmed adenocarcinoma and 128 controls undergoing functional reeducation for injuries or trauma were interviewed by a trained dietician using a dietary history questionnaire on their usual diet during the year preceding the first symptoms for cases, or preceding interview for controls. Intake of nitrite, nitrate and pre-formed N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) from food was estimated using a food composition table compiled ad hoc. Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated after adjustment for age, sex, occupation and calorie intake. The results indicated that high intake of NDMA was associated with increased risk for gastric cancer. The ORs for the second and third tertile of NDMA intake were: OR2 = 4.13 (95% CI = 0.93 18.27) and OR3 = 7.00 (95% CI = 1.85 to 26.46). Intake of nitrate and nitrite was not associated with increased risk of stomach cancer. Consumption of vegetables was protective in general and independent of their estimated nitrate content.

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