Objective: Gastric cancer is an important public health problem in the world and Turkey. In addition to Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), smoking, alcohol consumption and family history, certain dietary factors have been associated with its occurrence. The impact of dietary habits and life-style factors on the risk of gastric cancer in Turkey were evaluated in this study.
Design: A questionnaire was applied to 106 patients with gastric adenocarcinoma and 106 controls without cancer matched for age (range 28-85 years) and gender selected from a hospital based population. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated with logistic regression analysis.
Results: The incidence of H. pylori was 81.3% in patients. Frequent consumption of salty dishes, very salty foods like pickles, soup mixes, sausages, foods at hot temperature (ORs=3.686, 7.784, 5.264, 3.148 and 3.273 respectively) and adding salt without tasting (OR=4.198) were associated with increased gastric risk. Also heavy smoking and high amount of alcohol consumption (p=0.000) were risk factors. Frequent consumption of green vegetables, onion, garlic and dried fruits (ORs=0.569, 0.092, 0.795 and 0.041) was non- significantly associated with decreased risk.
Conclusion: Improved dietary habits, reducing salt consumption and eradication of H. pylori infection may provide protection against gastric cancer in Turkey.