Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Meta-Analysis
, 6 (6), e20456

Red and Processed Meat and Colorectal Cancer Incidence: Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies

Affiliations
Meta-Analysis

Red and Processed Meat and Colorectal Cancer Incidence: Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies

Doris S M Chan et al. PLoS One.

Abstract

Background: The evidence that red and processed meat influences colorectal carcinogenesis was judged convincing in the 2007 World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute of Cancer Research report. Since then, ten prospective studies have published new results. Here we update the evidence from prospective studies and explore whether there is a non-linear association of red and processed meats with colorectal cancer risk.

Methods and findings: Relevant prospective studies were identified in PubMed until March 2011. For each study, relative risks and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were extracted and pooled with a random-effects model, weighting for the inverse of the variance, in highest versus lowest intake comparison, and dose-response meta-analyses. Red and processed meats intake was associated with increased colorectal cancer risk. The summary relative risk (RR) of colorectal cancer for the highest versus the lowest intake was 1.22 (95% CI = 1.11-1.34) and the RR for every 100 g/day increase was 1.14 (95% CI = 1.04-1.24). Non-linear dose-response meta-analyses revealed that colorectal cancer risk increases approximately linearly with increasing intake of red and processed meats up to approximately 140 g/day, where the curve approaches its plateau. The associations were similar for colon and rectal cancer risk. When analyzed separately, colorectal cancer risk was related to intake of fresh red meat (RR(for 100 g/day increase) = 1.17, 95% CI = 1.05-1.31) and processed meat (RR (for 50 g/day increase) = 1.18, 95% CI = 1.10-1.28). Similar results were observed for colon cancer, but for rectal cancer, no significant associations were observed.

Conclusions: High intake of red and processed meat is associated with significant increased risk of colorectal, colon and rectal cancers. The overall evidence of prospective studies supports limiting red and processed meat consumption as one of the dietary recommendations for the prevention of colorectal cancer.

Conflict of interest statement

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

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1. Flow diagram of systematic literature search on red and processed meat and the risk of colorectal cancer.
Figure 2
Figure 2. Dose-response meta-analyses of total red and processed meats consumption and the risk of colorectal, colon and rectal cancers.
References: Chen, 1998 ; Pietinen, 1999 ; Flood, 2003 ; Lin, 2004 ; Larsson, 2005 ; Norat, 2005 ; Berndt, 2006 ; Cross, 2007 ; Kabat, 2007 ; Fung, 2010 ; Willett, 1990 ; Bostick, 1994 ; Giovannuccci, 1994 ; Chao, 2005 ; Cross, 2010 .
Figure 3
Figure 3. Non-linear dose-response meta-analysis of red and processed meats consumption and the risk of colorectal cancer.
Figure 4
Figure 4. Dose-response meta-analyses of red meat consumption and the risk of colorectal, colon and rectal cancers.
References: Pietinen, 1999 ; Jarvinen, 2001 ; Tiemersma, 2002 ; English, 2004 ; Larsson, 2005 ; Norat, 2005 ; Lee, 2009 ; Nothlings, 2009 ; Bostick, 1994 ; Singh, 1998 ; Wei, 2004 ; Oba, 2006
Figure 5
Figure 5. Dose-response meta-analyses of processed meat consumption and the risk of colorectal, colon and rectal cancers.
References: Pietinen, 1999 ; Flood, 2003 ; English, 2004 ; Lin, 2004 ; Larsson, 2005 ; Norat, 2005 ; Balder, 2006 ; Cross, 2007 ; Nothlings, 2009 ; Bostick, 1994 ; Wei, 2004 ; Brink, 2005 ; Chao, 2005 ; Oba, 2006 ; Cross, 2010 .

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 176 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

References

    1. Ferlay J, Shin HR, Bray F, Forman D, Mathers C, et al. Estimates of worldwide burden of cancer in 2008: GLOBOCAN 2008. IntJCancer. 2010;127:2893–2917. - PubMed
    1. Jemal A, Thun MJ, Ries LA, Howe HL, Weir HK, et al. Annual report to the nation on the status of cancer, 1975-2005, featuring trends in lung cancer, tobacco use, and tobacco control. JNatl Cancer Inst. 2008;100:1672–1694. - PMC - PubMed
    1. La Vecchia C, Bosetti C, Lucchini F, Bertuccio P, Negri E, et al. Cancer mortality in Europe, 2000-2004, and an overview of trends since 1975. Ann Oncol. 2010;21:1323–1360. - PubMed
    1. Center MM, Jemal A, Smith RA, Ward E. Worldwide variations in colorectal cancer. CA CancerJClin. 2009;59:366–378. - PubMed
    1. Chan AT, Giovannucci EL. Primary prevention of colorectal cancer. Gastroenterology. 2010;138:2029–2043. - PMC - PubMed

Publication types

Feedback