Until now, it has been unclear whether there are differences in various risk factor profiles for familial gastric cancer, i.e., gastric cancer among subjects with a family history of the disease. A total of 722 gastric cancer patients and 2024 controls were admitted between 1985 and 1992 to a network of hospitals in the Greater Milan area. Of these, 88 cases and 103 controls who reported a family history of gastric cancer in first degree relatives were considered in the present analysis. There was no relationship between gastric cancer risk and tobacco smoking or alcohol drinking. Shorter duration of electrical refrigerator use was related to a nonsignificant increased risk and a high daily meal frequency was associated with an increased gastric cancer risk. Significant direct trends of risk were observed for pasta (odds ratio, OR = 4.20 for the highest versus the lowest tertile), bread (OR, 2.86), red meat (OR, 3.38), and preserved meat (OR, 1.90). Inverse associations were observed for increasing consumption of selected vegetables and fruits, chiefly peppers (OR = 0.31), total fruits (OR, 0.47), and citrus fruits (OR, 0.38). With reference to selected micronutrients, a significant inverse trend in risk with increasing consumption for beta-carotene (OR, 0.27) and ascorbic acid (OR, 0.20) was observed. These results suggest that dietary risk factors for subjects with a family history of gastric cancer in first-degree relatives are not appreciably different from well-established risk factors of the disease in the general population.

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