Environmental factors in Helicobacter pylori-related gastric precancerous lesions in Venezuela.Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2004; 13(3):468-76CE
Although Helicobacter pylori (HP) infection has been acknowledged to play an etiological role in gastric carcinogenesis, its relatively weak association particularly in developing countries suggests critical roles of cofactors. Among a population with an extremely high prevalence of HP infection (approximately 95%) in Venezuela, we examined the relationship of household characteristics, smoking, alcohol drinking, dietary consumption, and plasma nutrient levels with the prevalence of three different stages of gastric precancerous lesions, chronic atrophic gastritis (AG; n = 337), intestinal metaplasia (IM; n = 551), and dysplasia (n = 157), in comparison with those without any of these lesions (n = 1154). Length of refrigerator use was marginally inversely associated with the prevalence of the precursor lesions studied. The association was most pronounced for AG followed by dysplasia. On the other hand, smoking status was a significant predictor for IM and dysplasia. Those smoking >/=>10 cigarettes/day had 1.8-fold risk of IM and 3.6-fold risk of dysplasia compared with never smokers. There were no associations with alcohol consumption. When six food groups known to be associated with stomach cancer risk in Venezuela were tested, the prevalence of these lesions progressively increased with increasing starchy vegetable consumption and decreasing fresh fruit/fruit juice consumption. The association with fruits was more evident for dysplasia and AG and that with starchy vegetables for IM and AG. However, there were no inverse associations with plasma antioxidant vitamins. These findings offer important public health implications in preventing progression of HP-associated gastric precancerous lesions in high-risk populations.