The incidence of adenocarcinomas of the esophagus and gastric cardia (ACEGC) has been increasing for the past 10-15 years in the United States. The reason for this increase is unknown. This hospital-based case-control study was conducted to assess the effects of dietary and nutritional factors on the risk of ACECG. A total of 95 incident cases with pathological diagnosis and 132 cancer-free controls were included in the study. Patients were recruited at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center from 1 November 1992 to 1 November 1994. Epidemiologic data were collected by a modified National Cancer Institute Health Habits History Questionnaire. Nutritional and dietary factors were analyzed using a logistic regression model. Increased risk of ACEGC was significantly related to higher intake of dietary calories and fat after controlling for several potential confounding factors. Decreased risk of ACEGC was significantly associated with high ingestion of dietary fiber, lutein, niacin, vitamin B6, iron, and zinc. Higher intakes of vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin E, folate, phosphorus, and potassium were associated with a decreased risk of the disease, but these were not statistically significant. The study suggests that ACEGC can be preventable through dietary interventions.