Red and Processed Meat, Poultry, Fish, and Egg Intakes and Cause-Specific and All-Cause Mortality among Men with Nonmetastatic Prostate Cancer in a U.S. Cohort

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2020 May;29(5):1029-1038. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-19-1426. Epub 2020 Mar 4.


Background: Research on the relationship of meat, fish, and egg consumption and mortality among prostate cancer survivors is limited.

Methods: In the Cancer Prevention Study-II Nutrition Cohort, men diagnosed with nonmetastatic prostate cancer between baseline in 1992/1993 and 2015 were followed for mortality until 2016. Analyses of pre- and postdiagnosis intakes of red and processed meat, poultry, fish, and eggs included 9,286 and 4,882 survivors, respectively. Multivariable-adjusted RRs and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models.

Results: A total of 4,682 and 2,768 deaths occurred during follow-up in pre- and postdiagnosis analyses, respectively. Both pre- and postdiagnosis intakes of total red and processed meat were positively associated with all-cause mortality (quartile 4 vs. 1: RR = 1.13; 95% CI, 1.03-1.25; P trend = 0.02; RR = 1.22; 95% CI, 1.07-1.39; P trend = 0.03, respectively), and both pre- and postdiagnosis poultry intakes were inversely associated with all-cause mortality (quartile 4 vs. 1 RR = 0.90; 95% CI, 0.82-0.98; P trend = 0.04; RR = 0.84; 95% CI, 0.75-0.95; P trend = 0.01, respectively). No associations were seen for prostate cancer-specific mortality, except that higher postdiagnosis unprocessed red meat intake was associated with lower risk.

Conclusions: Higher red and processed meat, and lower poultry, intakes either before or after prostate cancer diagnosis were associated with higher risk of all-cause mortality.

Impact: Our findings provide additional evidence that prostate cancer survivors should follow the nutrition guidelines limiting red and processed meat consumption to improve overall survival. Additional research on the relationship of specific meat types and mortality is needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Cancer Survivors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality*
  • Cause of Death
  • Diet Surveys / statistics & numerical data*
  • Eggs / standards
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Fishes
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meat Products / standards
  • Nutrition Policy
  • Poultry
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Red Meat / standards
  • Risk Assessment / statistics & numerical data
  • United States / epidemiology