Meat Increases Stroke Risk

The Physicians Committee

Meat Increases Stroke Risk

August 7, 2012

Red and processed meats increase the risk of stroke, according to a new meta-analysis published by the American Heart Association. Stroke risk increased 11 percent for each serving of red meat consumed as part of a person's daily diet, and 13 percent for each daily serving of processed meat. The study population included 329,495 people in Europe, Japan, and the United States. The likely explanations include meat's saturated fat, cholesterol, and heme iron, and the sodium and nitrites used to preserve and flavor processed meats.

The study did not examine the relationship between stroke and poultry or fish consumption.

Kaluza J, Wolk A, Larsson SC. Red meat consumption and risk of stroke: a meta-analysis of prospective studies. Stroke. Published online July 31, 2012.

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