Red meat consumption, risk of incidence of cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular mortality, and the dose-response effect: Protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal cohort studies

Medicine (Baltimore). 2019 Sep;98(38):e17271. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000017271.


Background: Red and (particularly) processed meats are high in cholesterol and saturated and solid fatty acids. Their consumption is considered one of the risk factors for metabolic disorders. Numerous studies demonstrated a possible association between red meat consumption and cardiovascular disease (CVD). In this protocol, we propose a systematic review of the literature to examine the associations of red meat consumption with CVD incidence and mortality, and explore the potential dose-response relationship.

Methods: We will search MEDLINE/PubMed, Scopus, SciELO, LILACS, ScienceDirect, Web of Science, Cochrane (CENTRAL), WHOLIS, PAHO, and Embase. We will include prospective epidemiological studies (longitudinal cohort). Risk of bias will be assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa scale (NOS). Four independent researchers will conduct all evaluations. Disagreements will be referred to a fifth reviewer. We will summarize our findings using a narrative approach and tables to describe the characteristics of the included studies. The heterogeneity between trial results will be evaluated using a standard chi-squared test with P < .05. We will conduct the study in accordance with the guideline of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-analyses Protocols (PRISMA-P).

Results: This review will evaluate the association between red meat consumption and incidence of CVD and mortality (primary outcome measures). The secondary outcome measure will include the dose-response effect.

Conclusion: The findings of this systematic review will summarize the latest evidence of the association between red meat consumption and incidence of CVD and mortality and the dose-response effect through a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Registration: PROSPERO CRD42019100914.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Diet / adverse effects
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Red Meat / adverse effects*
  • Red Meat / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Factors
  • Systematic Review as Topic