Glutathione S-transferases are important in the detoxification of a wide range of human carcinogens. Previous studies have shown inconsistent associations between the GSTT1 and GSTM1 null genotypes and stomach cancer risk. We investigated the relationship between these and related genotypes and stomach cancer risk in a population-based case-control study in Warsaw, Poland, where stomach cancer incidence and mortality rates are among the highest in Europe. DNA from blood samples was available for 304 stomach cancer patients and 427 control subjects. We observed a 1.48-fold increased risk for stomach cancer (95% confidence interval 0.97-2.25) in patients with the GSTT1 null genotype but no evidence of increased risk associated with the GSTM1, GSTM3 or GSTP1 genotypes. Furthermore, the stomach cancer risk associated with the GSTT1 null genotype varied by age at diagnosis, with odds ratios of 3.85, 1.91, 1.78 and 0.59 for those diagnosed at ages less than 50, 50-59, 60-69 and 70 years or older, respectively (P trend = 0.01). This was due to a shift in the GSTT1 genotype distribution across age groups among stomach cancer patients only. These results suggest that the GSTT1 null genotype may be associated with increased risk of stomach cancer.