Carbohydrate intake, glycemic index, glycemic load and risk of gastric cancer

Cent Eur J Public Health. 2009 Jun;17(2):75-8. doi: 10.21101/cejph.a3501.


The aim of this study was to examine relationship between dietary carbohydrate, glycemic index, glycemic load and gastric cancer risk. This hospital based case-control study was conducted in Nis (Serbia) between 2005 and 2006. Subjects (n=102) with histologically confirmed gastric cancer and controls (n=204) selected from non-cancer patients were interviewed. The structured questionnaire included information on socio-demographic and lifestyle habits. Data from dietary habits were based on Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ). We found reductions in gastric cancer risk for diets high in carbohydrate (OR for highest versus the lowest tertile = 0.07, 95% CI: 0.02-0.23) and mono- and disaccharides (OR = 0.03, 95% CI: 0.01-0.09) and increased risk (OR = 4.13, 95% CI: 1.73-9.86) for high polysaccharide intake. Total carbohydrate intake (OR = 0.17, 95% CI: 0.04-0.66) and mono- and disaccharides intake (OR = 0.06, 95% CI: 0.02-0.20) was associated with a reduction in gastric cancer risk, while polysaccharide intake was associated with an increased risk (OR = 4.85, 95% CI: 1.67-14.09) for the diffuse type only. In both histological subtypes, there was not significant association between glycemic index, glycemic load and the risk of gastric cancer. Our results suggest that increased intake of foods rich in carbohydrate, particularly mono- and disaccharides, as well as reduced consumption of food rich in polysaccharides, may lower the risk of diffuse type of gastric cancer. Our data do not support association between glycemic index, glycemic load and the risk of gastric cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / adverse effects*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Glycemic Index*
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monosaccharides / adverse effects
  • Polysaccharides / adverse effects
  • Risk Factors
  • Serbia
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stomach Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / etiology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / metabolism


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Monosaccharides
  • Polysaccharides