Objective: Some epidemiological studies suggest that diets high in fat, saturated fat, or cholesterol are associated with increased risk of lung cancer. Since meat consumption is correlated with the intake of saturated fat and cholesterol, we investigated the role of meat intake and cooking practices in relation to lung cancer risk.
Methods: A population-based case-control study of both non-smoking and smoking women was conducted in Missouri. A 100-item food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) with detailed questions on meat consumption was completed by 593 cases and 623 frequency matched controls. We estimated quantity of meat eaten (grams/day) according to cooking method, and doneness level. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (C.I.s) were calculated using logistic regression. Multivariate models included age, packyears of smoking, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2), education, and intake of calories, fat, fruit/fruit juices, and vegetables.
Results: When comparing 90th and 10th percentiles, lung cancer risk increased for total meat consumption (OR = 1.6, C.I. 1.1-2.4), red meat (OR = 1.8, C.I., 1.2-2.7), well-done red meat (OR = 1.5, C.I.s, 1.1-2.1) and fried red meat (OR = 1.5, C.I., 1.1-2.0). The odds ratios for 5th vs. 1st quintiles using the categorical variable for well-done red meat and fried red meat were essentially the same as reported above; however, the increase in risk was associated mainly with the 5th quintile. The ORs for a 10-gram increase in consumption were, 1.04 for total meat, 1.06 for red meat, 1.08 for well done red meat, and 1.09 for fried red meat.
Conclusions: Consumption of red meat, especially fried and/or well-done red meat, was associated with increased risk of lung cancer.