Salt intake, cured meat consumption, refrigerator use and stomach cancer incidence: a prospective cohort study (Netherlands).Cancer Causes Control 2003; 14(5):427-38CC
Many case-control studies have reported that salt and cured meat intake are positively, and refrigerator use is inversely, associated with stomach cancer risk. In the current prospective study these associations were evaluated.
The Netherlands Cohort Study consisted of 120,852 men and women ages 55-69 years at baseline in 1986. Salt exposure was measured by calculating mean daily sodium intake (dietary salt) from 150 food items and by specific salt questions. After 6.3 years of follow-up, 282 incident stomach cancer cases were available for analyses. Case-cohort analyses were based on the 282 cases and 3123 subcohort members.
In multivariate analyses adjusted for age, sex, smoking, education, stomach disorders, history of stomach cancer in the family, rate ratios (RR) for increasing quintiles of energy-adjusted intake of dietary salt were 1.00, 1.49, 1.03, 1.54 and 1.18, respectively (p trend = 0.43). An inverse association was found between stomach cancer and salt added at the hot meal (p trend = 0.04). For salt added to home-made soup, use of salt at the table, salt preference and duration of refrigerator use, no associations were observed. Positive associations were found for bacon (RR highest/lowest intake = 1.33; 95% CI = 1.03-1.71) and other sliced cold meat (RR highest/lowest intake = 1.29; 95% CI = 0.96-1.72), but not for smoked sausage, total cold meats, rashers/bacon, boiled ham and smoked beef/pork loin roll. Separate analyses among subjects with self-reported stomach disorders revealed higher RR of stomach cancer for dietary salt and several types of cured meat.
The present findings suggest that intake of dietary salt and several types of cured meat were weakly positively associated with stomach cancer risk.