Stomach cancer incidence rates are much lower in India than elsewhere, but the stomach remains one of the 10 leading sites of cancer in both sexes in most of the metropolitan registries. This is an unmatched case-control study of stomach cancer carried out at Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH), Mumbai. Our purpose was to identify the association of tobacco and alcohol use, occupational hazards, diet, consumption of beverages like tea and coffee, the living environment, cooking media and literacy with stomach cancer. Our study included 170 stomach cancer cases and 2,184 hospital controls interviewed during the period 1988-1992. Tobacco chewing, bidi or cigarette smoking and alcohol drinking did not emerge as high risk factors for stomach cancer. Consumption of dry fish at least once a week compared to never or once a every 2 weeks showed a 12-fold excess risk (OR = 12.4, 95% CI 7.0-22.1, p < 0.0001) for stomach cancer among the nonvegetarian food items considered. A protective effect of tea consumption (OR = 0.4, 95% CI 0.2-0.9, p = 0.03), showing 59% reduction in risk, was identified, which could be of use for possible control and prevention of this cancer.
Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.