Objective: Stomach cancer is the second common cause of death in Lithuania and most countries of the world. Nevertheless, there were no reports of epidemiological studies on stomach cancer in Lithuania. Therefore, a hospital-based case-control study has been carried out in order to assess the associations between vegetables and fruits and risk of stomach cancer.
Material and methods: Hospital-based case-control study included 379 cases with newly histologically confirmed diagnose of stomach cancer and 1137 controls that were free of cancer and stomach diseases. Cases and controls were matched by gender and age (+/-5 yr). Information on demographic variables, family history on cancer, life-style habits, such as diet, smoking, alcohol consumption, and physical activity was collected by a questionnaire. Conditional logistic regression was used to compute the odds ratio (OR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI).
Results: After adjustment for other food items (vegetables, fruits, different types of meat, processed meat and fish, dairy and starchy products, coffee, green tea), that were related to outcome, smoking, alcohol use, family history on cancer, education level and residence, stomach cancer risk was inversely associated with consumption of raw vegetables such as cabbage (OR=0.24; 95% CI=0.10-0.57; > or =1-3 times/month vs. almost never), carrots (OR=0.42, 95% CI=0.20-0.86; 1-6 times/week vs. almost never) and garlic (OR=0.59, 95% CI=0.37-0.96; 1-6 times/week vs. almost never). Protective effect has been observed for intake of broccoli (OR=0.52, 95% CI=0.28-0.98; 1-4 times/week vs. < or =1-3 times/month). There were no statistically significant associations between stomach cancer risk and consumption of citrus or others fruits. In conclusion, higher consumption of raw vegetables such as cabbage, carrots, garlic as well as broccoli may decrease a risk of stomach cancer, whereas intake of citrus fruits has no relation with a reduced risk of the disease.