Salt preference and the risk of gastrointestinal cancers

E. Negri, C. La Vecchia, B. D'Avanzo, A. Gentile, P. Boyle, S. Franceschi

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The relationship between the consumption of salt and the risk of gastrointestinal cancer was examined using data from a case-control study conducted in northern Italy. The study was conducted on 526 incident cases of gastric cancer, 621 of colon cancers, 382 of rectal cancers, and 1,223 controls admitted to hospital for acute, nonneoplastic, nondigestive tract disorders. Compared with those for people with low salt intakes, the relative risks (and 95% confidence intervals) for those with intermediate and high salt intakes were 1.3 (1.0-1.8) and 1.2 (0.8-1.7) for stomach, 1.0 (0.8-1.3) and 1.1 (0.8-1.5) for colon, and 1.2 (0.9-1.6) and 0.9 (0.6-1.3) for rectum. None of the trends in risk were statistically significant, and the risk estimates were not materially modified by allowance for major identified potential confounding factors. Thus, this study gives little support to the existence of any strong association between salt intake and gastrointestinal cancers. However, in view of the results obtained and of the uncertainties of salt intake measurement, the possibility exists of a real, although moderate, association of salt intake with gastric cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-232
Number of pages6
JournalNutrition and Cancer
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Oncology
  • Food Science


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