Dietary carbohydrates have been associated with gastric cancer risk. They are general indicators of a poor diet.
Elevated levels of glucose and insulin elicited by consumption of refined carbohydrates may stimulate mitogenic and cancer-promoting insulin-like growth factors.
In this study, doctors from Italy evaluated glycemic index and glycemic load. These are indirect measures of dietary insulin demand.
|Associations were found to be stronger in women.|
|Annals of Oncology|
The team collected data from a hospital-based case-control study on gastric cancer, which was conducted between 1985 and 1997. The study included 769 cases with incident, histologically confirmed gastric cancer and 2081 controls admitted for acute, non-neoplastic diseases.
All subjects were interviewed using a reproducible food frequency questionnaire.
The doctors found that the multivariate odds ratios for subsequent quartiles of dietary glycemic load were 1.44, 1.62, and 1.94.
There was no consistent pattern of risk was seen for the glycemic index.
The team found that the associations were consistent for different strata of age, education and body mass index.
Associations were found to be stronger in women.
Dr Augustin and colleagues concluded, "This study supports the hypothesis of a direct association between glycemic load and gastric cancer risk, thus providing an innovative interpretation…for the association between carbohydrates and risk of gastric cancer".