Genes Elevate Existing Risk Associated with Processed Meat and Cancer

The Physicians Committee

Genes Elevate Existing Risk Associated with Processed Meat and Cancer

April 21, 2014

A new study confirms that red and processed meat are associated with an increased risk in colorectal cancer, while also identifying certain genetic factors that may further increase risk. 

Researchers looked at  9,287 individuals who developed colorectal cancer and 9,120 individuals who did not from 10 studies as part of the Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium (GECCO).  Risk of colorectal cancer increased by 15 percent with the consumption of red meat and by 11 percent with the consumption of processed meat.

The risk associated with processed meat consumption increased to 20 and 39 percent for participants with two different genetic variants.  In contrast, fruits, vegetables, and fiber consumption were associated with a decreased risk for colorectal cancer.

Learn more, read our processed meat fact sheet.

Figueiredo JC, Hsu L, Hutter CM, Lin Y, Campbell PT, et al. Genome-Wide Diet-Gene Interaction Analyses for Risk of Colorectal Cancer. PLOS Genetics. 2014;10(4):e1004228.

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