• cohort studies;
  • diet;
  • dietary carbohydrates;
  • epidemiology;
  • glycemic index;
  • glycemic load;
  • gastric cancer;
  • stomach cancer;
  • prospective studies


The glycemic effects of diets high in refined grains and starchy foods might increase stomach cancer risk by affecting circulating glucose, insulin and insulin-like growth factor-I levels. No prospective data on the role of high glycemic load and glycemic index diets on stomach cancer risk have been reported. We therefore prospectively investigated dietary glycemic load, overall glycemic index and carbohydrate intake in relation to the incidence of stomach cancer among 61,433 women in the population-based Swedish Mammography Cohort. Diet was assessed at baseline (1987–1990) and again in 1997. During 903,586 person-years of follow-up, a total of 156 incident cases of stomach cancer were ascertained. We observed no material associations of dietary glycemic load, overall glycemic index and total carbohydrate intake with the risk of stomach cancer. The multivariate hazard ratios for the highest versus the lowest quintile were 0.76 (95% CI = 0.46–1.25) for glycemic load, 0.77 (95% CI = 0.46–1.30) for overall glycemic index and 0.85 (95% CI = 0.50–1.43) for carbohydrate intake. The associations did not vary according to body mass index. Lack of information on Helicobacter pylori infection status did not allow stratification by this potential effect modifier. Findings from this population-based prospective cohort of middle-aged and elderly women did not provide evidence of a positive association between glycemic load, glycemic index and carbohydrate intake with risk of stomach cancer. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.