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Br J Cancer. 2011 Mar 29;104(7):1196-201. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2011.49. Epub 2011 Feb 22.

Red and processed meat consumption and risk of ovarian cancer: a dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies.

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  • 1Division of Nutritional Epidemiology, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Box 210, Stockholm 171 77, Sweden.



During the last decade, the epidemiological evidence on consumption of meat and risk of ovarian cancer has accumulated.


We assessed the relationship between red and processed meat consumption and risk of ovarian cancer with a dose-response meta-analysis. Relevant prospective cohort studies were identified by searching the PubMed and EMBASE databases through 21 January 2011, and by reviewing the reference lists of retrieved articles. Study-specific relative risk (RR) estimates were combined using a random-effects model.


Eight cohort studies were included in the meta-analysis. The summary RR for an intake increment of 100 g per week was 1.02 (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.99-1.04) for red meat and 1.05 (95% CI, 0.98-1.14) for processed meat. For an intake increment of four servings per week, the summary RR of ovarian cancer was 1.07 (95% CI, 0.97-1.19) for red meat (100 g per serving) and 1.07 (95% CI, 0.97-1.17) for processed meat (30 g per serving).


Results from this dose-response meta-analysis suggest that red and processed meat consumption is not associated with risk of ovarian cancer. Although a lower consumption of red and processed meat may offer protection against other types of cancer, other interventions are needed to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.

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