Allium vegetables and stomach cancer risk in China

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2005 Jul-Sep;6(3):387-95.


Although the incidence of stomach cancer has been declining, it remains the second leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Potential protective effects of allium vegetables against cancer have been reported by a few epidemiologic studies in Chinese populations, but the sample sizes of these studies were relatively small. We examined the associations between allium vegetable consumption and stomach cancer in a large population-based case-control study in Shanghai (750 cases and 750 age- and gender-matched controls) and Qingdao (201 cases and 201 age- and gender-matched controls). Epidemiological data were collected by a standard questionnaire, and odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using conditional logistic regression in SAS. After adjusting for matching variables, education, body mass index, pack-years of smoking, alcohol drinking, salt intake, and fruit and vegetable intake, inverse relationships with dose response pattern were observed between frequency of onion intake and stomach cancer in Qingdao (P for trend=0.02) and Shanghai (P for trend=0.04) populations. In Shanghai, negative dose-response relationships were observed between monthly intake of onions (P=0.03) or garlic stalks (P=0.04) and distal, but not cardia cancer. A negative association was also noted between intake of garlic stalks (often vs. never) and risk of stomach cancer in Qingdao (OR=0.30; 95% CI: 0.12-0.77). Our results confirm protective effects of allium vegetables (especially garlic and onions) against stomach cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Allium*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • China
  • Diet*
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Stomach Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Vegetables