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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2001 Oct;10(10):1055-62.

Nutrient intake and risk of subtypes of esophageal and gastric cancer.

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Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8034, USA. Susan.Mayne@Yale.Edu


Incidence rates for adenocarcinoma of the esophagus and gastric cardia have been rising rapidly. We examined nutrient intake as a risk factor for esophageal and gastric cancers in a population-based case-control study in Connecticut, New Jersey, and western Washington state. Interviews were completed for cases with histologically confirmed esophageal adenocarcinoma (n = 282), adenocarcinoma of the gastric cardia (n = 255), esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (n = 206), and noncardia gastric adenocarcinoma (n = 352), along with population controls (n = 687). Associations between nutrient intake and risk of cancer were estimated by adjusted odds ratios (ORs), comparing the 75th versus the 25th percentile of intake. The following nutrients were significantly inversely associated with risk of all four tumor types: fiber, beta-carotene, folate, and vitamins C and B6. In contrast, dietary cholesterol, animal protein, and vitamin B12 were significantly positively associated with risk of all four tumor types. Dietary fat [OR, 2.18; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.27-3.76] was significantly associated with risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma only. Dietary nitrite (OR, 1.65; 95% CI, 1.26-2.16) was associated with noncardia gastric cancer only. Vitamin C supplement use was associated with a significantly lower risk for noncardia gastric cancer (OR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.41-0.88). Higher intake of nutrients found primarily in plant-based foods was associated with a reduced risk of adenocarcinomas of the esophagus and gastric cardia, whereas higher intake of nutrients found primarily in foods of animal origin was associated with an increased risk.

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