Red meat intake was associated with an increased risk of several other types of cancer in meta-analyses as well. Higher red meat intake compared with lower intake was significantly associated with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (SRRE, 1.57; 95% CI, 1.26-1.95; I2 = 56%), glioma (RR, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.08-1.58), and nasopharyngeal cancer (RR, 1.71; 95% CI, 1.14-2.55).16-18 An increased risk of pancreatic cancer was also associated with higher red meat intake among case-control studies (RR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.05-1.81), but not cohort studies.19
One meta-analysis of 5 cohort and 8 case-control studies found a significant association per 100 g daily of red meat and bladder cancer only among case-control studies (RR, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.13-2.02).20 Another meta-analysis, however, found no significant association with high red meat intake and an increased risk of bladder cancer compared with lower red meat intake (SRRE, 1.15; 95% CI, 0.97-1.36).21 This study did not analyze cohort and case-control studies separately.
Cancers With No Association With Red Meat Intake
Several studies found no association between red meat intake and hepatocellular carcinoma, oral cavity and oropharynx cancer, ovarian cancer, and prostate cancer.22-25
Epidemiologic evidence suggests that high consumption of red meat, particularly beef, is associated with an increased risk of several types of cancer. Pork has not been associated with cancer risk, and the association with lamb is mixed. The evidence for an association with red meat intake is strongest among case-control studies, as some cohort studies have not demonstrated consistent results with the case-control studies. This highlights the limitations of epidemiologic data; it should be noted that there are no randomized controlled trials that have evaluated the effect of a high red meat diet on cancer risk.
- Wolk A. Potential health hazards of eating red meat. J Intern Med. 2017;281:106-22. doi: 10.1111/joim.12543
- Lippi G, Mattiuzzi C, Cervellin G. Meat consumption and cancer risk: a critical review of published meta-analyses. Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2016;97:1-14. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2015.11.008
- Alexander DD, Weed DL, Miller PE, Mohamed MA. Red meat and colorectal cancer: a quantitative update on the state of the epidemiologic science. J Am Coll Nutr. 2015;34;521-43.
- Vieira AR, Abar L, Chan DS, et al. Foods and beverages and colorectal cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies, an update of the evidence of the WCRF-AICR Continuous Update Project. Ann Oncol. 2017;28:1788-802. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdx171
- Carr PR, Walter V, Brenner H, Hoffmeister M. Meat subtypes and their association with colorectal cancer: systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Cancer. 2016;138;293-302. doi: 10.1002/ijc.29423
- Pham NM, Mizoue T, Tanaka K, et al. Meat consumption and colorectal cancer risk: an evaluation based on a systematic review of epidemiologic evidence among the Japanese population. Jpn J Clin Oncol. 2014;44:641-50. doi:10.1093/jjco/hyu061
- Bernstein AM, Song M, Zhang X, et al. Processed and unprocessed red meat and risk of colorectal cancer: analysis by tumor location and modification by time. PLoS ONE. 2015;10:e0135959. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0135959
- Xue XJ, Qiao JH, Zhang J, Xu CP, Liu J. Red and processed meat consumption and the risk of lung cancer: a dose-response meta-analysis of 33 published studies. Int J Clin Exp Med. 2014;7:1542-53.
- Gnagnarella P, Caini S, Maisonneuve P, Gandini S. Carcinogenicity of high consumption of meat and lung cancer risk among non-smokers: a comprehensive meta-analysis. Nutr Cancer. 2017 Oct 10. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2017.1374420 [Epub ahead of print]
- Wu J, Zeng R, Huang J, et al. Dietary protein sources and incidence of breast cancer: a dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. Nutr. 2016;8:730-50. doi:10.3390/nu8110730
- Yang L, Dong J, Jiang S, et al. Red and processed meat consumption increases risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma: a PRISMA-compliant meta-analysis of observational studies. Medicine (Baltimore). 2015;94:e1729.
- Solimini AG, Lombardi AM, Palazzo C, De Giusti M. Meat intake and non-Hodgkin lymphoma: a meta-analysis of observational studies. Cancer Causes Control. 2016;27:595-606. doi: 10.1007/s10552-016-0745-2
- Caini S, Masala G, Gnagnarella P, et al. Food of animal origin and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma: a review of the literature and meta-analysis. Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2016;100:16-24. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2016.02.011
- Zhu H, Yang X, Zhang C, et al. Red and processed meat intake is associated with higher gastric cancer risk: a meta-analysis of epidemiological observational studies. PLoS ONE. 2013;8:e70955. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0070955
- Zhao Z, Yin Z, Zhao Q. Red and processed meat consumption and gastric cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Oncotarget. 2017;8:30563-75.
- Qu X, Ben Q, Jiang Y. Consumption of red and processed meat and risk for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma based on a meta-analysis. Ann Epidemiol. 2013;23:762-70.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2013.09.003
17. Saneei P, Willett W, Esmaillzadeh A. Red and processed meat consumption and risk of glioma in adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. J Res Med Sci. 2015;20:602-12. doi: 10.4103/1735-1995.165970
18. Li F, Duan F, Zhao X, Song C, Cui S, Dai L. Red meat and processed meat consumption and nasopharyngeal carcinoma risk: a dose-response meta-analysis of observational studies. Nutr Cancer. 2016;68:1034-43. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2016.1192200
19. Zhao Z, Yin Z, Pu Z, Zhao Q. Association between consumption of red and processed meat and pancreatic cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2017;15:486-93. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2016.09.143
20. Crippa A, Larsson SC, Discacciati A, Wolk A, Orsini N. Red and processed meat consumption and risk of bladder cancer: a dose–response meta‑analysis of epidemiological studies. Eur J Nutr. 2016 Dec 22. doi: 10.1007/s00394-016-1356-0 [Epub ahead of print]
21. Li F, An S, Hou L, Chen P, Lei C, Tan W. Red and processed meat intake and risk of bladder cancer: a meta-analysis. Int J Clin Exp Med. 2014;7:2100-20.
22. Luo J, Yang Y, Liu J, et al. Systematic review with meta-analysis: meat consumption and the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2014;39:913-22. doi: 10.1111/apt.12678
23. Xu J, Yang X, Wu Y, Li X, Bai B. Meat consumption and risk of oral cavity and oropharynx cancer: a meta-analysis of observational studies. PLoS ONE. 2014;9:e95048. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0095048
24. Crane TE, Khulpateea BR, Alberts DS, Basen-Engquist K, Thomson CA. Dietary intake and ovarian cancer risk: a systematic review. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2014;23:255-73. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-0515
25. Bylsma LC, Alexander DD. A review and meta-analysis of prospective studies of red and processed meat, meat cooking methods, heme iron, heterocyclic amines and prostate cancer. Nutr J. 2015;14:125-43. doi: 10.1186/s12937-015-0111-3