Salt Taste Sensitivity, Physical Activity and Gastric Cancer


Background: Gastric cancer is one of the main health issues in China. The risk factors of the disease arerelated to nutrition and environment. Salt taste sensitivity is the capacity to identify the flavor of salt. Salttaste sensitivity threshold (STST) can influence salt appetite, and it is assumed to have association with gastriccancer.
Methods: A 1:2 matched hospital based case-control study including 300 cases with newly histologicalconfirmed diagnosis of gastric cancer and 600 controls that were cancer and gastric diseases free were used. Aself-designed questionnaire was used to collect information dietary and lifestyle habit, and physical activity, andsalt taste sensitivity test was used to measure the STST for all subjects. Conditional logistic regression was usedto calculated Odds Ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI).
Results: An increased risk of gastriccancer is related to the consumption of smoking, drinking, family history of cancer and salted food. Walkingand sports activity [adjust OR=0.69(0.51-0.99) for ≥4 times/week] presented protective effect for gastric cancer.There is a significant positive association between increased STST and gastric cancer, and the adjusted OR was2.05(1.68-2.5). When we used STST≥5 as a cut point, people with STST≥5 were at 5.71 times greater risk ofgastric cancer than those with STST<5. STST showed moderate association with physical activity (Correlationcoefficient =0.22). Cut point of STST ≥5 had a best sensitivity and specificity for predicting gastric cancer riskdetection (sensitivity for 73.67%, specificity for 57%).
Conclusion:Salt and salted food intake is association withgastric cancer, while physical activity showed protective effect. A high STST is strong association with gastriccancer risk.