Red meat intake and cancer risk: A study in Italy

Alessandra Tavani, Carlo La Vecchia, Silvano Gallus, Pagona Lagiou, Dimitrios Trichopoulos, Fabio Levi, Eva Negri

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Abstract

Meat intake has been positively associated with risk of digestive tract cancers in several epidemiological studies, while data on the relation of meat intake with cancer risk at most other sites are inconsistent. The overall data set, derived from an integrated series of case-control studies conducted in northern Italy between 1983 and 1996, included the following incident, histologically confirmed neoplasms: oral cavity, pharynx and esophagus (n = 497), stomach (n = 745), colon (n = 828), rectum (n = 498), liver (n = 428), gallbladder (n = 60), pancreas (n = 362), larynx (n = 242), breast (n = 3,412), endometrium (n = 750), ovary (n = 971), prostate (n = 127), bladder (n = 431), kidney (n = 190), thyroid (n = 208), Hodgkin's disease (n = 80), non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (n = 200) and multiple myelomas (n = 120). Controls were 7,990 patients admitted to hospital for acute, non- neoplastic conditions unrelated to long-term modifications in diet. The multivariate odds ratios (ORs) for the highest tertile of red meat intake (≥7 times/week) compared with the lowest (≤3 times/week) were 1.6 for stomach, 1.9 for colon, 1.7 for rectal, 1.6 for pancreatic, 1.6 for bladder, 1.2 for breast, 1.5 for endometrial and 1.3 for ovarian cancer. ORs showed no significant heterogeneity across strata of age at diagnosis and sex. No convincing relation with red meat intake emerged for cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx and esophagus, liver, gallbladder, larynx, kidney, thyroid, prostate, Hodgkin's disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphomas and multiple myeloma. For none of the neoplasms considered was there a significant inverse relationship with red meat intake. Thus, reducing red meat intake might lower the risk for several common neoplasms. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-428
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Volume89
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

Cite this

Tavani, A., La Vecchia, C., Gallus, S., Lagiou, P., Trichopoulos, D., Levi, F., & Negri, E. (2000). Red meat intake and cancer risk: A study in Italy. International Journal of Cancer, 89(2), 425-428.