OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of lifestyle habits on the risk of primary gastric cancer. METHODS: A hospital-based case-control study of matched pairs was conducted in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, from 1992 to 1996. The study included 649 subjects (152 cases and 497 controls). All subjects were personally interviewed face-to-face by a trained interviewer using a structured questionnaire to collect data about lifestyle. An average of approximately three controls were matched to each case based on age (±3 yr), sex, and time of hospitalization (±2 wk). Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were used to evaluate results, and a multivariate analysis of the data was performed using a conditional logistic regression model. RESULTS: A significantly elevated risk of contracting gastric cancer was observed in cigarette smokers (OR: 2.7, 95% CI: 1.5-4.3), but not in drinkers of alcoholic beverages (OR: 1.5, 95% CI: 0.9-3.2). A synergistically augmented relationship (multiplication effect) was found between smoking and drinking alcohol for controlling the major confounders. The combined adjusted ORs for all subjects with gastric cancer were 3.0 (95% CI: 1.4-7.1) for current smokers and 1.7 (95% CI: 1.2-4.4) for ex-smokers. Furthermore, a statistically significant positive dose-response trend in gastric cancer was demonstrated based on the age at which smoking was initiated, the duration of the habit, the number of cigarettes smoked per day, and the degree of smoke inhalation. We did not find any association between the other risk factors and gastric carcinogenesis. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provide further evidence that in Taiwan, cigarette smoking may play the most harmful role in the initial development of gastric cancer, and that drinking alcohol may promote the process. (C) 2000 by Am. Coll. of Gastroenterology.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes