Meat consumption in relation to mortality from cardiovascular disease among Japanese men and women

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2012 Jun;66(6):687-93. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2012.6. Epub 2012 Feb 15.


Background/objectives: Although high or low (no) meat consumption was associated with elevated or reduced mortality from cardiovascular disease, respectively, few studies have investigated the association between moderate meat consumption and cardiovascular disease. We aimed to evaluate the associations between moderate meat consumption and cardiovascular disease mortality.

Subjects/methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study of 51,683 Japanese (20,466 men and 31,217 women) aged 40-79 years living in all of Japan (The Japan Collaborative Cohort Study; JACC Study). Consumptions of meat (beef, pork, poultry, liver and processed meat) were assessed via a food frequency questionnaire administrated at baseline survey. Hazard ratios (HRs) of mortality from cardiovascular disease were estimated from Cox proportional hazards regression models according to quintiles of meat consumption after adjustment for potential confounding variables.

Results: During 820,076 person-years of follow-up, we documented 2685 deaths due to total cardiovascular disease including 537 ischemic heart diseases and 1209 strokes. The multivariable HRs (95% confidence interval) for the highest versus lowest quintiles of meat consumption (77.6 versus 10.4 g/day) among men were 0.66 (0.45-0.97) for ischemic heart disease, 1.10 (0.84-1.43) for stroke and 1.00 (0.84-1.20) for total cardiovascular disease. The corresponding HRs (59.9 versus 7.5 g/day) among women were 1.22 (0.81-1.83), 0.91 (0.70-1.19) and 1.07 (0.90-1.28). The associations were similar when the consumptions of red meat, poultry, processed meat and liver were examined separately.

Conclusion: Moderate meat consumption, up to ~100 g/day, was not associated with increased mortality from ischemic heart disease, stroke or total cardiovascular disease among either gender.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality*
  • Diet Surveys
  • Diet* / adverse effects
  • Energy Intake*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Meat* / adverse effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Ischemia / mortality
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Stroke / mortality
  • Surveys and Questionnaires