Meat Intake Linked to Bladder Cancer

The Physicians Committee

Meat Intake Linked to Bladder Cancer

August 3, 2010

Consumption of red and processed meats increases the risk of bladder cancer, according to a new study. Researchers looked at 300,933 men and women and found that those who consumed the most red meat had a 22 percent increased risk of bladder cancer, compared with those who ate the least. Consumption of nitrites and nitrates, compounds used for preserving, coloring, and flavoring processed meats, was associated with a 28 to 29 percent increased risk at highest intake levels. PhIP, a chemical commonly found in grilled chicken and other meats heated to a sufficient degree, was associated with a 19 percent increased risk of bladder cancer. Participants were part of the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study and were included in a 7-year follow up.

PhIP has been linked to numerous cancers in humans, including breast, colon, and prostate. Nitrites and nitrates have long been recognized as potent carcinogens.

Ferrucci LM, Sinha R, Ward MH, et al. Meat and components of meat and the risk of bladder cancer in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. Cancer. Published ahead of print August 2, 2010. doi: 10.1002/cncr.25463.

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