Dietary factors and gastric cancer in Korea: a case-control study

Int J Cancer. 2002 Feb 1;97(4):531-5. doi: 10.1002/ijc.10111.


To assess gastric cancer (GC) risk in relation to dietary intake in Korea, a case-control study was performed. Trained dietitians interviewed 136 patients diagnosed with GC, and the same number of controls were selected by matching sex, age and hospital. A significant decrease in GC risk was observed with increased intake of Baiechu kimchi (prepared with salted Chinese cabbage and red pepper, etc.), Baiechu kimchi-stew, garlic, mushroom and soybean milk. On the contrary, a significant increase in the risk of GC was observed with increased intake of cooked rice with bean, charcoal grilled beef, pollack soup, Kkakduki (a kind of kimchi prepared with salted radish and red pepper, etc.), Dongchimi (a kind of kimchi prepared with radish and a large quantity of salt water) and cooked spinach. In food groups, increased intake of soybean products was associated with decreased risk of GC. Intake of citrus fruits rather than total fruits was shown to have a protective effect on the risk of GC, but was not significant. In this study, intake of total vegetables was shown to have a protective effect, whereas high nitrate-containing vegetables increased the risk of GC. In conclusion, our study suggests that the risk of GC decreased with high consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits, whereas high consumption of foods rich in nitrate and carcinogenic substances produced during the cooking process increased the risk of GC.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinogens / adverse effects
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cooking
  • Diet* / adverse effects
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Food Preservatives / adverse effects
  • Fruit
  • Humans
  • Korea / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Meat
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitrates / adverse effects
  • Odds Ratio
  • Refrigeration
  • Risk
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stomach Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vegetables


  • Carcinogens
  • Food Preservatives
  • Nitrates