Family relatives of gastric cancer patients have a higher risk of gastric cancer and premalignant gastric lesions. We sought to determine the risk factors associated with the presence of intestinal metaplasia in a large cohort of gastric cancer relatives. First-degree relatives of gastric cancer patients were invited for screening gastroscopy. Endoscopic gastric biopsies were obtained from the antrum and corpus. Gastric biopsies were analyzed for Helicobacter pylori infection, severity of inflammation, and presence of intestinal metaplasia. Stepwise logistic regressions were used to identify for risk factors associated with presence of intestinal metaplasia in cancer relatives. Two hundred seventy cancer relatives underwent screening endoscopy (median age, 42; 47% male and 48% siblings). Among them, 161 (59.6%) were H. pylori positive and 81 (30%) had confirmed intestinal metaplasia. The following factors were found to be associated with the presence of intestinal metaplasia: age, male sex, H. pylori infection, birth order, alcohol use, siblings with stomach cancer, childhood living conditions, and water supply. Individuals with intestinal metaplasia had more severe acute and chronic inflammation in the antrum and corpus (P < 0.003). With multiple logistic regression, H. pylori infection [odds ratio (OR), 3.23], male gender (OR, 2.09), age (OR, 1.07), and a history of gastric cancer in siblings (OR, 1.91) were independent factors associated with the development of intestinal metaplasia in cancer relatives. In conclusion, we have identified risk factors associated with gastric intestinal metaplasia in stomach cancer relatives, which may be useful in the understanding of gastric carcinogenesis in these high-risk individuals.