BACKGROUND: For gastric cancer, primary prevention by risk factor modification might have some important roles. However, previous studies having investigated the factors associated with stomach cancer reported various results. In addition, there were only a few studies based on Korean population. METHODS: A case control study was carried out on 106 cases matched for age and sex with 106 controls in a tertiary care hospital. In patients who were aged 75 years or less and had been newly diagnosed as adenocarcinoma of stomach between July 1996 and January 1997 were included into the case group. Information on baseline characteristics, health habits, dietary habits of study subjects was obtained through an interview using structured questionnaire. Conditional logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the factors associated with stomach cancer. RESULTS: Salt preference was associated with significantly increased risk of stomach cancer (odds ratio[OR]=9.81, 95% confidence interval[CI]=2.28 42.2). Eating broiled food more than three times a week significantly increased the risk of stomach cancer (OR=3.33, 95% CI=1.16 9.55) compared to eating it less than once a week. Blood type, family history of stomach cancer, smoking, and alcohol consumption were not associated with stomach cancer. CONCLUSION: Salt preference and frequent eating of broiled food are the risk factors significantly associated with stomach cancer in this study subjects.