High Intake of Red and Processed Meats Linked to Increased Mortality Risk — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
March 24, 2009

High Intake of Red and Processed Meats Linked to Increased Mortality Risk

High intake of red and processed meats is associated with increased risk for death in older adults, while white meat may have a protective effect, reports Archives of Internal Medicine.

More than a half million adults aged 50 to 71 completed food-frequency questionnaires and then were followed for 10 years; during that time, some 48,000 men and 23,000 women died.

After adjustment for confounders including BMI and smoking status, men and women in the highest quintile of red meat intake had significantly increased risks for overall mortality, cancer-related deaths, and cardiovascular-disease–related deaths, relative to those in the lowest quintile. High intake of processed meat was also associated with increased mortality risks.

Conversely, consumption of white meat (poultry and fish) was associated with significantly decreased risks for total and cancer-related mortality.

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