Red meat consumption and risk of stroke in Swedish men

Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Aug;94(2):417-21. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.015115. Epub 2011 Jun 8.


Background: Red and processed meat consumption has been implicated in several diseases. However, data on meat consumption in relation to stroke incidence are sparse.

Objective: Our objective was to examine the associations of red meat and processed meat consumption with stroke incidence in men.

Design: We prospectively followed 40,291 men aged 45-79 y who had no history of cardiovascular disease or cancer at baseline. Meat consumption was assessed with a self-administered questionnaire in 1997.

Results: During a mean follow-up of 10.1 y, 2409 incident casesof stroke (1849 cerebral infarctions, 350 hemorrhagic strokes, and 210 unspecified strokes) were identified from the Swedish Hospital Discharge Registry. Consumption of processed meat, but not of fresh red meat, was positively associated with risk of stroke. The multivariable relative risks (RRs) of total stroke for the highest compared with the lowest quintiles of consumption were 1.23 (95% CI: 1.07, 1.40; P for trend = 0.004) for processed meat and 1.07 (95% CI: 0.93, 1.24; P for trend = 0.77) for fresh red meat. Processed meat consumption was also positively associated with risk of cerebral infarction in a comparison of the highest with the lowest quintile (RR: 1.18; 95% CI: 1.01, 1.38; P for trend = 0.03).

Conclusion: The findings from this prospective cohort of men indicate that processed meat consumption is positively associated with risk of stroke. The Cohort of Swedish Men is registered at as NCT01127711.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cerebral Infarction / etiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diet
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meat*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke / etiology*
  • Sweden

Associated data