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Int J Cardiol. 2015 Aug 15;193:42-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2015.05.044. Epub 2015 May 9.

Long-term processed and unprocessed red meat consumption and risk of heart failure: A prospective cohort study of women.

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  • 1Department of Human Nutrition, Warsaw University of Life Sciences - SGGW, Warsaw, Poland; Division of Nutritional Epidemiology, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. Electronic address:
  • 2Division of Nutritional Epidemiology, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.



Epidemiologic studies of red meat consumption in relation to risk of heart failure (HF) are limited. We examined the associations between long-term unprocessed red meat and processed red meat consumption and incidence of HF in women.


The population-based prospective Swedish Mammography Cohort included 34,057 women, aged 48-83 years, with no history of HF or ischemic heart disease at baseline (in 1997). Meat consumption was assessed using a self-administered food-frequency questionnaire (FFQ) in 1997 as well as FFQ administered in 1987-90. Cox proportional hazard regression models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs).


During a mean follow-up of 13.2 years, 2806 women were diagnosed with HF. Consumption of processed meat (FFQ 1997) was statistically significant positively associated with HF incidence. Women who consumed ≥ 50 g/day processed red meat compared to those who consumed < 25 g/day had a 1.23 (95% CI: 1.09-1.39, P-trend=0.003) higher risk of HF. Long-term high consumption of processed red meat (average from 1987 to 1997) ≥ 50 g/day in comparison to < 25 g/day was associated with HR: 1.30 (95% CI: 1.05-1.60, P-trend=0.002). Women who consistently consumed (in both 1987 and 1997) ≥ 50 g/day vs. < 25 g/day had a 1.78 (95% CI: 1.00-3.16) higher risk of HF. Consumption of unprocessed meat was not associated with increased risk of HF incidence.


Findings from this prospective study of women indicate that processed red meat, but not unprocessed red meat, consumption is associated with an increased risk of HF incidence.

Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.


Heart failure; Processed meat; Prospective cohort study; Red meat

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