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Multicenter Study
. 2007 Dec;4(12):e325.
doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0040325.

A Prospective Study of Red and Processed Meat Intake in Relation to Cancer Risk

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Free PMC article
Multicenter Study

A Prospective Study of Red and Processed Meat Intake in Relation to Cancer Risk

Amanda J Cross et al. PLoS Med. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Background: Red meat and processed meat have been associated with carcinogenesis at several anatomic sites, but no prospective study has examined meat intake in relation to a range of malignancies. We investigated whether red or processed meat intake increases cancer risk at a variety of sites.

Methods and findings: The National Institutes of Health (NIH)-AARP (formerly the American Association for Retired Persons) Diet and Health Study is a cohort of approximately 500,000 people aged 50-71 y at baseline (1995-1996). Meat intake was estimated from a food frequency questionnaire administered at baseline. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals within quintiles of red and processed meat intake. During up to 8.2 y of follow-up, 53,396 incident cancers were ascertained. Statistically significant elevated risks (ranging from 20% to 60%) were evident for esophageal, colorectal, liver, and lung cancer, comparing individuals in the highest with those in the lowest quintile of red meat intake. Furthermore, individuals in the highest quintile of processed meat intake had a 20% elevated risk for colorectal and a 16% elevated risk for lung cancer.

Conclusions: Both red and processed meat intakes were positively associated with cancers of the colorectum and lung; furthermore, red meat intake was associated with an elevated risk for cancers of the esophagus and liver.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1. HRs and 95% CIs for the 5th Versus 1st Quintile of Red Meat Intake and Cancer Risk for Both Sexes Combined (Except for Sex-Specific Cancers)
Figure 2
Figure 2. HRs and 95% CIs for the 5th Versus 1st Quintile of Processed Meat Intake and Cancer Risk for Both Sexes Combined (Except for Sex-Specific Cancers)

Comment in

  • Meat consumption and cancer risk.
    Genkinger JM, Koushik A. Genkinger JM, et al. Version 2. PLoS Med. 2007 Dec;4(12):e345. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0040345. PLoS Med. 2007. PMID: 18076281 Free PMC article.

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