Supplement use and gastric cancer risk in the Southern Community Cohort Study

Cancer Causes Control. 2023 Oct;34(10):897-907. doi: 10.1007/s10552-023-01734-7. Epub 2023 Jun 13.


Purpose: Gastric cancer remains a racial health disparity in the US, but few studies have examined supplements as a potential protective factor. We examined associations between regular supplement use and gastric cancer risk among the predominantly Black participants in the Southern Community Cohort Study (SCCS).

Methods: Of the 84,508 individuals recruited in the SCCS from 2002 to 2009, 81,884 responded to the baseline question: any vitamin or supplement taken at least once per month in the past year. Secondary analyses assessed specific supplement use. Associations with incident gastric cancer were examined using adjusted Cox proportional hazards models, stratified by histologic subtype and secondarily by healthy eating index (HEI).

Results: Approximately half of the participants (47%, n = 38,318) reported any regular supplement use. Among the 203 incident gastric cancers over the follow-up period (median, 7 years), 142 were non-cardia (NCGC), 31 cardia (CGC), and 30 unknown. Regular supplement use was associated with a 30% decreased risk of NCGC (hazards ratio (HR) 0.70; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.49-0.99). Among participants below the HEI median, any regular supplement and multivitamin use were associated with a 52% and 70% decrease in risk of NCGC (HR 0.48; 95%CI 0.25-0.92 and HR 0.30; 95%CI 0.13-0.71), respectively. No associations were found for CGC.

Conclusion: Regular supplement use, including multivitamins, was associated with a decreased risk of NCGC in the SCCS, particularly among participants with a lower quality diet. Inverse associations of supplement use and NCGC incidence provide support for clinical trials among high-risk populations in the US.

Keywords: Disparity; Gastric cancer; Low-income; Risk; Supplement; Vitamin.

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Stomach Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Vitamins


  • Vitamins