Background: Recent studies showed inverse relationship between hypercholesterolemia and the risk of gastric cancer, especially among male. However evidence among female is inconsistent. We aimed to investigate the relationship between cholesterol level and the risk of gastric cancer among female according to menopausal status. Methods: We analyzed the data from a population-based prospective cohort of female ≥ 30 years old who underwent cancer screening and general health screening provided by the Korean National Health Insurance Corporation in 2009. Under quartile stratification of the level of cholesterol components, we calculated the hazard ratio (HR) for gastric cancer incidence until 2018 for each level group according to the menopausal status at 2009. Results: Among total 2,722,614 individuals, 17,649 gastric cancer cases developed after mean 8.26 years of follow-up (premenopausal 3746/1180666; postmenopausal 13,903/1541948). Total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) showed inverse relationship with the risk of gastric cancer among postmenopausal women (adjusted HR (95% confidence interval) for the highest quartile vs. lowest quartile and p-for-trend: 0.88 (0.84–0.92) and < 0.001 for total cholesterol; 0.89 (0.85–0.92) and < 0.001 for HDL-C; 0.92 (0.89–0.97) and 0.001 for LDL-C), whereas none showed statistically significant risk relationship among premenopausal women. Triglyceride was not independently related with gastric cancer risk among both pre- and postmenopausal women. Conclusions: Cholesterol levels, including total cholesterol, HDL-C, and LDL-C, are inversely related with the risk of gastric cancer among postmenopausal women, but not among premenopausal women.
- Gastric cancer