Meat Raises Colon Cancer Risk

The Physicians Committee

Meat Raises Colon Cancer Risk

January 12, 2005

A report in tomorrow’s Journal of the American Medical Association confirms the findings of earlier studies linking meat consumption to colon cancer. In the Cancer Prevention Study II, involving 148,610 adults followed since 1982, the group with the highest meat intake had approximately 50 percent higher colon cancer risk, compared with those with lower intakes.

The study found no relationship between white meat and colon cancer among men and found a negative relationship in women. The study did not report results for vegetarians within the cohort. Such data are of interest because earlier studies have indicated that those consuming white meat, particularly chicken, have approximately a threefold higher colon cancer risk compared with vegetarians.

Chao A, Thun MJ, Connell CJ, et al. Meat consumption and risk of colorectal cancer. JAMA 2005;293:172-182.

Fraser GE. Associations between diet and cancer, ischemic heart disease, and all-cause mortality in non-Hispanic white California Seventh-day Adventists. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;70(suppl):532S-538S.

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