[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Other Articles
November 25, 1961

The Special Problem of Stomach Cancer in Iceland: With Particular Reference to Dietary Factors

Author Affiliations

Reykjavik, Iceland

From the Department of Pathology, University of Iceland. Presented as the Fourth Maude Abbott Lecture at the 50th Annual Meeting of the International Academy of Pathology, Chicago, April 26, 1961.

JAMA. 1961;178(8):789-798. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040470005002

Gastric cancer is frequent in Iceland, where it accounts for about 45% of all cancers in males in death certificates and 35% of all male cancers in autopsies. Smoked meat and fish is eaten in considerable amounts in Iceland, and in rural areas these foods are kept in smokehouses for prolonged periods. Analyses for polycyclic hydrocarbons demonstrated low but significant amounts of 3,4benzpyrene in smoked mutton and trout, especially in food smoked on farms. When smoked mutton was fed to 45 laboratory rats it produced malignant tumors in 5; smoked trout had the same effect in 6 out of 18 rats. The geographical distribution of the disease can be explained to a certain extent by the greater consumption of smoked trout and salmon around rivers and lakes.