Consumption of Smoked and Cured Meat Linked to Leukemia

The Physicians Committee

Consumption of Smoked and Cured Meat Linked to Leukemia

January 30, 2009

A new study shows that consumption of cured and smoked meat and fish is correlated to the risk of leukemia, the most common form of cancer in children, while higher consumption of vegetables and bean-curd is associated with reduced risk. This population-based study in Taiwan compared 145 acute leukemia cases to 370 matched controls, ages 2 to 20 years old. A suggested reason for the increased risk is the formation of carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds in the stomach upon consumption of smoked and cured meats.

Liu C, Hsu Y, Wu M, et al. Cured meat, vegetables, and bean-curd foods in relation to childhood acute leukemia risk: A population based case-control study. BMC Cancer. 2009;9:15. doi:10.1186/1471-2407-9-15.

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