The risk of colorectal cancer is associated with the frequency of meat consumption in a population-based cohort in Korea

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2011;12(9):2371-6.


Objective: To date, there have been few prospective cohort studies that have investigated the association between meat consumption and the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) in Asian countries. A large, population-based cohort study was conducted to assess the effect of the frequency of meat consumption on the risk of CRC in Korean adults.

Methods: The participants were Korean government employees, school faculty members, and their unemployed dependents, aged 30-80 years, who underwent health examinations between 1996 and 1997. In 2003, information on CRC incidence was obtained during the 6-7 year follow-up period. The final data analysis included 2,248,129 study subjects. The hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) of the HR were estimated using the Cox proportional hazards regression model.

Results: During the follow-up period, CRC occurred in 4,501 men and 1,943 women (64.19 and 36.34 for age-standardized incidence rates per 100,000 person-years, respectively). In the total population, the estimated HRs and 95% CI for meat consumption of 2-3 times per week and more than 4 times per week compared with consumption of less than once per week were 1.06 (1.01-1.12) and 1.23 (1.13-1.35), respectively. In men only and women only groups, the HRs (95% CI) for consumption of more than 4 times per week compared with consumption of less than once per week were 1.13 (1.02-1.26) and 1.42 (1.21-1.66), respectively.

Conclusion: The present findings suggest that frequency of meat consumption is positively associated with the risk of CRC.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Eating
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Korea / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Meat / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors