Background: Several epidermiologic studies reported the positive association between cigarette smoking and stomach cancer. The prevalence of smoking in men remains high in Japan compared to other developed countries. It is therefore of great importance to determine the impact of cigarette smoking on stomach cancer among the Japanese population. The Japan Collaborative Cohort Study (JACC Study) provided an opportunity to examine the association between smoking and the risk of mortality due to stomach cancer. Method: A baseline survey was conducted throughout Japan from 1988 through 1990 among 110,792 inhabitants of 45 areas. Data retrieved for 98,062 participants (43,482 male and 54,580 female) who provided sufficient information about their smoking habits, without any history of caner at the baseline. Of total 970,251 person-years, 757deaths due to stomach caner were identified. Results: Current smokers were at a higher risk of death due to stomach cancer than non-smokers (Hazard ratio = 1.36; 95% confidence interval [Cl]: 1.07, 1.73). The risk of, stomach cancer for men who smoked 15 or more cigarettes per day was approximately 1.4-fold greater than that of non-smokers, and those who smoked 35 or more cigarettes per day had an approximately 1.7-fold higher risk of stomach cancer, although the dose-response trend among men was unclear (p for trend = 0.063). No associations between smoking and stomach cancer were detected among women. Conclusion: The present results, together with previous findings, strongly support a hypothesis that cigarette smoking increases the risk of stomach cancer in Japanese men.
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