Adherence to the Mediterranean diet and gastric cancer risk in Italy

Delphine Praud, Paola Bertuccio, Cristina Bosetti, Federica Turati, Monica Ferraroni, Carlo La Vecchia

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We investigated gastric cancer risk in relation to the adherence to the Mediterranean diet using data from two case-control studies conducted in Italy between 1985 and 2007, including 999 incidents, histologically confirmed gastric cancers and 2,628 controls admitted to hospital for acute non-neoplastic diseases. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet was assessed using the Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS) based on nine of the major characteristics of the Mediterranean diet in the overall dataset. The Mediterranean Dietary Pattern adherence index (MDP) and the Mediterranean Adequacy Index (MAI) were considered in the second study only. We estimated odds ratios (OR) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI) of gastric cancer for categories of the three scores using multiple logistic regression models. We found a reduced risk of gastric cancer for increasing levels of the MDS: as compared to subjects in the lowest category of the MDS, the ORs were 0.78, 0.61 and 0.57 in subsequent levels of MDS, with a significant trend in risk. Risk estimates were consistent across strata of age, sex, education, smoking, body mass index, and family history of gastric cancer. We also observed a decreased risk of gastric cancer for the highest versus the lowest quintile for MDP and MAI, with OR of 0.58 and 0.71, respectively. Our study provides convincing evidence of a beneficial role of the Mediterranean diet on gastric cancer. What's new? Adherence to the Mediterranean diet has been reported to have a beneficial effect on cardiovascular diseases and selected cancers. In this study based on data from two large Italian case-control studies, the authors considered three different scores measuring adherence to the Mediterranean diet, and found a favorable effect on gastric cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2935-2941
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 15 2014


  • case-control
  • gastric cancer
  • Mediterranean diet
  • risk factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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