BACKGROUND - The divergent incidence patterns of gastric cardia and distal stomach cancer may suggest different etiologies. This study examined the role of cigarette smoking, alcohol drinking, and green tea consumption as risk factors for carcinoma by anatomic subsite of stomach.
METHODS - Newly-diagnosed stomach carcinoma patients (n = 1124) and frequency-matched population controls (n = 1451) were interviewed in person. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using logistic regression models.
RESULTS - Excess risks associated with cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption were observed largely among men. The adjusted ORs for all stomach cancer combined were 1.35 (CI: 1.06-1.71) for current smokers, and 1.26 (CI: 0.86-1.84) for ex-smokers. For tumors of the distal stomach, statistically significant positive dose-response trends were found for the number of cigarettes smoked per day, the duration and pack-years of smoking, and inverse trends for years of stopped smoking. For tumors of the gastric cardia, however, a monotonic association was found only for the number of cigarettes smoked per day (P=0.06). Alcohol consumption was not related to the risk of cardia cancer, while a moderate excess risk of distal stomach cancer (OR: 1.55; CI: 1.07-2.26) was observed among heavy alcohol drinkers. Green tea drinking was inversely associated with risk of stomach cancer arising from either subsite, with ORs of 0.77 (CI: 0.52-1.13) among female heavy drinkers, and 0.76 (CI: 0.55-1.27) among male heavy drinkers.
CONCLUSIONS - Our findings provide further evidence that cigarette smoking and, possibly, alcohol consumption increase the risk of stomach carcinoma, notably of the distal segment. An inverse association with green tea drinking was also observed.