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Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2011;12(9):2371-6.

The risk of colorectal cancer is associated with the frequency of meat consumption in a population-based cohort in Korea.

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Cancer Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Management, Research Institute, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Korea.



To date, there have been few prospective cohort studies that have investigated the association between meat consumption and the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) in Asian countries. A large, population-based cohort study was conducted to assess the effect of the frequency of meat consumption on the risk of CRC in Korean adults.


The participants were Korean government employees, school faculty members, and their unemployed dependents, aged 30-80 years, who underwent health examinations between 1996 and 1997. In 2003, information on CRC incidence was obtained during the 6-7 year follow-up period. The final data analysis included 2,248,129 study subjects. The hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) of the HR were estimated using the Cox proportional hazards regression model.


During the follow-up period, CRC occurred in 4,501 men and 1,943 women (64.19 and 36.34 for age-standardized incidence rates per 100,000 person-years, respectively). In the total population, the estimated HRs and 95% CI for meat consumption of 2-3 times per week and more than 4 times per week compared with consumption of less than once per week were 1.06 (1.01-1.12) and 1.23 (1.13-1.35), respectively. In men only and women only groups, the HRs (95% CI) for consumption of more than 4 times per week compared with consumption of less than once per week were 1.13 (1.02-1.26) and 1.42 (1.21-1.66), respectively.


The present findings suggest that frequency of meat consumption is positively associated with the risk of CRC.

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