Fish consumption and the risk of gastric cancer: systematic review and meta-analysis

BMC Cancer. 2011 Jan 20;11:26. doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-11-26.


Background: Gastric cancer is the fourth most frequently occurring malignancy after lung, breast, and colorectal cancer, and the second most common cause of death from cancer worldwide. Epidemiologic studies have examined the possible association between fish consumption and gastric cancer, but the results were inconclusive. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the association between fish intake and the risk of gastric cancer.

Methods: PubMed was searched for studies published in English-language journals from 1991 through 2009. We identified 17 epidemiologic studies (15 case-control and 2 cohort studies) that included relative risks (RRs) or odds ratios (ORs) estimates with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of the relationship between gastric cancer and fish consumption. Data were extracted using standardized data forms. Summary RRs or ORs for the highest versus non/lowest fish consumption levels were calculated using random-effects model. Heterogeneity among studies was examined using Q and I2 statistics.

Results: In this study, 5,323 cases of gastric cancer and over 130,000 non-cases were included. The combined results from all studies indicated that the association between high fish consumption and reduced gastric cancer risk was not statistically insignificant (RR = 0.87, 95% CI = 0.71-1.07).

Conclusions: Current evidence indicated that the association between fish consumption and risk of gastric cancer remains unclear.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage
  • Fishes*
  • Humans
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Seafood*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / prevention & control


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3