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Meat Consumption and Risk of Colorectal Cancer

Long term meat consumption associated with higher colon cancer risk

Method
A cohort of 148 610 adults aged 50 to 74 years (median, 63 years), residing in 21 states with population-based cancer registries, who provided information on meat consumption in 1982 and again in 1992/1993 when enrolled in the Cancer Prevention Study II (CPS II) Nutrition Cohort.
Results
When long-term consumption was considered, persons in the highest tertile of consumption in both 1982 and 1992/1993 had higher risk of distal colon cancer associated with processed meat (RR, 1.50; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04-2.17), and ratio of red meat to poultry and fish (RR, 1.53; 95% CI, 1.08-2.18) relative to those persons in the lowest tertile at both time points.
High consumption of red meat reported in 1992/1993 was associated with higher risk of rectal cancer (RR, 1.71; 95% CI, 1.15-2.52; P = .007 for trend), as was high consumption reported in both 1982 and 1992/1993 (RR, 1.43; 95% CI, 1.00-2.05).  Our results demonstrate the potential value of examining long-term meat consumption in assessing cancer risk and strengthen the evidence that prolonged high consumption of red and processed meat may increase the risk of cancer in the distal portion of the large intestine.