Meat intake and meat preparation in relation to risk of postmenopausal breast cancer in the NIH-AARP diet and health study

Int J Cancer. 2009 May 15;124(10):2430-5. doi: 10.1002/ijc.24203.


A number of studies have reported that intake of red meat or meat cooked at high temperatures is associated with increased risk of breast cancer, but other studies have shown no association. We assessed the association between meat, meat-cooking methods, and meat-mutagen intake and postmenopausal breast cancer in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study cohort of 120,755 postmenopausal women who completed a food frequency questionnaire at baseline (1995-1996) as well as a detailed meat-cooking module within 6 months following baseline. During 8 years of follow-up, 3,818 cases of invasive breast cancer were identified in this cohort. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). After adjusting for covariates, intake of total meat, red meat, meat cooked at high temperatures, and meat mutagens showed no association with breast cancer risk. This large prospective study with detailed information on meat preparation methods provides no support for a role of meat mutagens in the development of postmenopausal breast cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cooking*
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Meat*
  • Middle Aged
  • Postmenopause*
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology