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Arch Iran Med. 2013 Jun;16(6):324-9. doi: 013166/AIM.004.

A case-control study of the relationship between gastric cancer and meat consumption in Iran.

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  • 1Faculty of Nutrition Sciences and Food Technology, International Branch of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



Despite the descending trends of gastric cancer in many parts of the world, its mortality rate has still remained high globally. Meat, red and processed meat in particular, may induce gastric carcinogenesis through potential mechanisms. However, the role of this dietary aspect in the risk of gastric cancer has not well been investigated so far. Therefore, we designed a study to assess the relation between meat consumption and the risk of gastric cancer in Golestan Province, a high- risk area for gastric malignancies in Iran.


Subjects of this population-based case-control study included 190 histologically confirmed cases of gastric cancer and 647 controls. Meat consumption was evaluated using a 116-item semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. A lifestyle questionnaire also collected data concerning demographic features, anthropometric measures, and other known risk factors of gastric cancer. We estimated crude and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the relation between meat intake and gastric cancer.


After being adjusted for potential confounders, red meat intake was positively associated with gastric cancer which reached statistical significance (OR = 1.87, 95% CI: 1.01-3.47, Ptrend = 0.073). On the other hand, individuals in the highest quartile of white meat consumption had a statistically significant reduced risk of gastric cancer compared to those in the lowest quartile (OR = 0.36, 95% CI: 0.19-0.68, Ptrend = 0.005). 


We observed a positive association between red meat consumption and the risk of gastric cancer, and a reverse relationship regarding white meat intake and the risk of this malignancy.

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