The consumption of well-done red meat and the risk of colorectal cancer

Am J Public Health. 1994 May;84(5):856-8. doi: 10.2105/ajph.84.5.856.


Heterocyclic aromatic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are mutagens that are produced in highly cooked meats. A case-control study of 511 patients with colorectal cancer and 500 matched control subjects examined whether consumption of well-done cooked beef is related to the risk of developing large bowel cancer. Approximately 16% of men and women consumed well-done beef, and 50% ate medium-cooked beef. For both sexes, there was no association between consumption of well-done or medium-cooked beef and colorectal cancer. This paper discusses whether questionnaire data accurately reflect dietary intake of heterocyclic aromatic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amines / adverse effects
  • Animals
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cattle
  • Colonic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / etiology
  • Cooking
  • Female
  • Heterocyclic Compounds / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meat / adverse effects*
  • Middle Aged
  • Polycyclic Compounds / adverse effects
  • Rectal Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Rectal Neoplasms / etiology
  • Risk Factors


  • Amines
  • Heterocyclic Compounds
  • Polycyclic Compounds