A case-control study of risk factors for glioma in adults was carried out in Heilongjiang province in northeast China. Between September 1989 and May 1995, 218 histologically confirmed cases of glioma requiring surgery for tumor removal (139 astrocytoma glioma and 79 other glioma) and 436 controls with non-neoplastic and non-neurological disease were recruited and personally interviewed in the wards of six major hospitals. Controls were matched by sex, age, and area of residence. Occupational, lifestyle, and medical information was obtained through a standardized questionnaire. Use of liquor was associated with cancer risk. Compared with males who never drank liquor, males with total lifetime liquor consumption of less than 1000 liters had an adjusted odds ratio (OR) of 1.60 (95% CI: 0.89-2.88) and for more than 1000 liters, 2.73 (95% CI: 1.06-7.08). Statistically significant associations were also found for diseases related to the brain (OR: 5.75; 95% CI: 1.08-30.47) and trauma to the head requiring medical attention (OR: 4.09; 95% CI: 2.51-10.31). Increased consumption of vegetables and of fruit were each associated with decreased glioma risk. Compared with lowest quartile intake, adjusted risks associated with highest quartile intake were 0.51 (95% CI: 0.29-0.89) for total vegetables and 0.28 (95% CI: 0.16-0.51) for total fruit.