Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection and intestinal metaplasia (IM) are each associated with an increased risk of gastric cancer (GC). To explore further the influences of H. pylori and IM on GC, H. pylori and subtypes of IM were evaluated in 135 sex and age-matched case and control pairs. Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals of developing GC were calculated for each risk factor using multiple logistic regression analysis. ORs for H. pylori infection and IM were 2.43 (1.29-4.65) and 4.59 (2.58-8.16), respectively, and those for different IM subtypes gave values of 0.82 (0.28-2.36) for type I, 2.03 (0.95-4.34) for type II and 39.75 (14.34-110.2) for type III. Stratification analysis by histological subtype and stage of GC showed a particularly high OR for IM in intestinal type (12.8, 4.73-34.83) and early GC (6.40, 2.25-18.18). Our data indicate that both H. pylori and IM are related to GC risk. Type III IM is a more specific marker of premalignancy, with relevance, in particular, to the early and intestinal type of GC.