A review and meta-analysis of prospective studies of red and processed meat intake and prostate cancer

Nutr J. 2010 Nov 2;9:50. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-9-50.


Over the past decade, several large epidemiologic investigations of meat intake and prostate cancer have been published. Therefore, a meta-analysis of prospective studies was conducted to estimate potential associations between red or processed meat intake and prostate cancer. Fifteen studies of red meat and 11 studies of processed meat were included in the analyses. High vs. low intake and dose-response analyses were conducted using random effects models to generate summary relative risk estimates (SRRE). No association between high vs. low red meat consumption (SRRE = 1.00, 95% CI: 0.96-1.05) or each 100 g increment of red meat (SRRE = 1.00, 95% CI: 0.95-1.05) and total prostate cancer was observed. Similarly, no association with red meat was observed for advanced prostate cancer (SRRE = 1.01, 95% CI: 0.94-1.09). A weakly elevated summary association between processed meat and total prostate cancer was found (SRRE = 1.05, 95% CI: 0.99-1.12), although heterogeneity was present, the association was attenuated in a sub-group analysis of studies that adjusted for multiple potential confounding factors, and publication bias likely affected the summary effect. In conclusion, the results of this meta-analysis are not supportive of an independent positive association between red or processed meat intake and prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Diet / adverse effects*
  • Dietary Fats / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meat / adverse effects*
  • Meat Products / adverse effects*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Risk Factors


  • Dietary Fats