VOL. 5, No. 1/2, July 2009

E. De Stefani, et al. [2009] Med. Hypotheses Res. 5: 37‒46.

Dietary Patterns and Risk of Gastric Cancer: A Factor
Analysis in Uruguay

Eduardo De Stefani*, Dagfinn Aune, Hugo Deneo-Pellegrini,
Paolo Boffetta, Alvaro L. Ronco and Pelayo Correa

Epidemiology Group, Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Uruguay (E.D.S., H.D.-
P.); Department of Biostatistics and Department of Nutrition, University of Oslo, Norway (D.
A.); International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France (P.B.); Department of
Epidemiology, Radiology Center, Hospital Pereira Rossell, Uruguay (A.L.R.); and
Department of Pathology, Vanderbilt University, USA (P.C.)

Abstract. In the time period 1996-2004 a case-control study on diet and gastric cancer
risk was conducted in Montevideo, Uruguay. Two-hundred and seventy-four cases and 548
controls were drawn from the four major public health hospitals located in Montevideo. In
order to reduce the numerous foods and nutrients defined in the present database we
conducted two factor analyses among controls. The first principal component analysis
included food groups and retained four factors labelled as prudent, traditional, drinker, and
meat, milk and rice patterns. The second factor analysis was conducted with nutrients and
also four patterns were retained. These nutrient patterns were labelled as fats, antioxidants,
carotenoids, and carbohydrates. The drinker and meat, milk, rice, and carbohydrates
patterns were directly associated with risk of gastric cancer. On the other hand, the prudent
and antioxidants patterns were significantly protective. It could be concluded that factor
analysis is a powerful tool for establishing the role of diet in the etiology of gastric cancer

* Correspondence: Dr. Eduardo De Stefani, Avenida Brasil 3080 department 402,
11300 Montevideo, Uruguay. Phone: +598 2 708 23 14.