Red Meat Linked
Increased Risk of Cancer and Cardiovascular
Study from Harvard School Of Public Health...
(HSPH) researchers has found that red meat
is associated with an
increased risk of total, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality.
The results also showed that substituting
other healthy protein
sources, such as fish, poultry, nuts, and legumes,
was associated with lowering
the risk of mortality.
study was first published
in Archives of
in March, 2012.
study adds more
evidence to the health risks of eating
high amounts of red meat, which has been associated with type 2
heart disease, stroke, and certain
in other studies," said the researchers.
The researchers observed 37,698 men from the Health Professionals
Study for up to 22 years and 83,644 women
in the Nurses' Health
Study for up to 28 years who were free of cardiovascular disease
(CVD) and cancer at baseline.
Diets were assessed through questionnaires
every four years.
23,926 deaths were documented
the two studies, of which 5,910 were from CVD and 9,464 from cancer.
of red meat, particularly processed red meat, was associated
increased mortality risk.
One daily serving
of unprocessed red meat was associated with a 13%
increased risk of mortality, and
one daily serving
of processed red meat (one
hot dog or two slices of bacon)
was associated with a 20%
increased risk. Among
specific causes, corresponding
in risk were 18% and 21% for cardiovascular mortality, and 10%
and 16% for cancer mortality.
These analyses took
into account chronic
disease risk factors such as age, body mass
index, physical activity, family history of heart disease or
Red meat, especially processed meat, contains
ingredients that have been linked
increased risk of chronic
diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. These
include heme iron,
saturated fat, sodium, nitrites, and certain
that are formed during
of total red meat with
of a healthy protein
source was associated with a lower mortality risk: 7% for fish,
14% for poultry, 19% for nuts, 10% for legumes, 10% for low-fat dairy
products, and 14% for whole grains.
The researchers estimated that 9.3% of deaths
in men and 7.6%
in women could have been prevented at the end of the follow-up if
all the participants had consumed
less than 0.5 servings
per day of red meat.
study provides clear
evidence that regular consumption
of red meat, especially processed meat, contributes
substantially to premature death," said the
the other hand, choosing
more healthful sources of protein
in place of red meat can confer
significant health benefits by reducing
disease morbidity and mortality."
Support for the
study was provided by the National
Heart, Lung, and Blood
Institute and the National
Harvard School of Public Health.
Red Meat Consumption
and Mortality. Archives of
March 12, 2012