Stomach cancer mortality data were compared with dietary and biochemical data from 65 Chinese counties to provide clues to reasons for the marked geographic variation of stomach cancer mortality rates in China. Sex-specific correlation and multivariate regression analyses showed significant positive associations with consumption of salted vegetables and eggs, prevalence of antibodies to Helicobacter pylori, and levels of plasma albumin; and significant negative associations with intake of green vegetables and levels of plasma selenium and beta-carotene. Limitations of ecological data preclude causal inferences, but these findings suggest factors that may contribute to making stomach cancer the leading cause of cancer death in China and other countries.

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