Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Gastroenterol. 2011 Mar;106(3):432-42. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2010.415. Epub 2010 Oct 26.

Meat consumption and risk of esophageal and gastric cancer in a large prospective study.

Author information

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, Maryland 20852, USA.



Red and processed meats could increase cancer risk through several potential mechanisms involving iron, heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and N-nitroso compounds. Although there have been multiple studies of meat and colorectal cancer, other gastrointestinal malignancies are understudied.


We estimated hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the association between meat, meat components, and meat cooking by-products and risk of esophageal or gastric cancer in a large cohort study. During ∼10 years of follow-up, we accrued 215 esophageal squamous cell carcinomas, 630 esophageal adenocarcinomas, 454 gastric cardia adenocarcinomas, and 501 gastric non-cardia adenocarcinomas.


Red meat intake was positively associated with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (HR for the top versus bottom quintile=1.79, 95% CI: 1.07-3.01, P for trend=0.019). Individuals in the highest intake quintile of 2-amino-3,4,8-trimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline (DiMeIQx) had an increased risk for gastric cardia cancer (HR=1.44, 95% CI: 1.01-2.07, P for trend=0.104). Furthermore, those in the highest quintile of 2-amino-3,8-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline (MeIQx), 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP), or heme iron intake had a suggestive increased risk for esophageal adenocarcinoma (HR=1.35, 95% CI: 0.97-1.89, P for trend=0.022; HR=1.45, 95% CI: 0.99-2.12, P for trend=0.463; or HR=1.47, 95% CI: 0.99-2.20, P for trend=0.063, respectively). Benzo[a]pyrene, nitrate, and nitrite were not associated with esophageal or gastric cancer.


We found positive associations between red meat intake and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, and between DiMeIQx intake and gastric cardia cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wolters Kluwer Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center