Processed and unprocessed red meat consumption and risk of heart failure: prospective study of men

Circ Heart Fail. 2014 Jul;7(4):552-7. doi: 10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.113.000921. Epub 2014 Jun 12.


Background: Epidemiological studies of red meat consumption in relation to risk of heart failure (HF) are scarce. We examined the associations of unprocessed and processed red meat consumption with HF incidence and mortality in men.

Methods and results: The population-based prospective Cohort of Swedish Men included 37 035 men, aged 45 to 79 years, with no history of HF, ischemic heart disease, or cancer at baseline. Meat consumption was assessed with a self-administered questionnaire in 1997. During a mean follow-up of 11.8 years, 2891 incidences and 266 deaths from HF were ascertained. Consumption of processed meat was statistically significant positively associated with risk of HF in both age- and multivariable-adjusted models. Men who consumed ≥75 g/d processed meat compared with those who consumed <25 g/d had a 1.28 (95% confidence interval, 1.10-1.48, P trend=0.01) higher risk of HF incidence and 2.43 (95% confidence interval, 1.52-3.88, P trend<0.001) higher risk of HF mortality. The consumption of unprocessed meat was not associated with increased risk of incidence of HF or mortality from HF.

Conclusions: Findings from this prospective study of men with low to moderate red meat consumption indicate that processed red meat consumption, but not unprocessed red meat, is associated with an increased risk of HF.

Keywords: heart failure; processed meat; prospective cohort study; red meat.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Forecasting*
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology*
  • Heart Failure / etiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Meat / adverse effects*
  • Meat / statistics & numerical data
  • Meat Products / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survival Rate / trends
  • Sweden / epidemiology