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J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2014 Jun;140(6):979-92. doi: 10.1007/s00432-014-1637-z. Epub 2014 Mar 29.

Red meat consumption and stomach cancer risk: a meta-analysis.

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Department of General Surgery, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, 121 Jiangjiayuan Road, Nanjing, 210011, China,



The association of red meat consumption with the risk of stomach cancer has been reported by many studies, with inconclusive results. We performed a meta-analysis of cohort and case-control studies to provide a quantitative assessment of this association.


Relevant studies were identified by searching PubMed and Embase before December 2013 without restrictions. A total of 18 studies involving 1,228,327 subjects were included in this meta-analysis. Summary relative risks were estimated using random effects models.


The pooled relative risks of gastric cancer were 1.37 (95 % CI 1.18-1.59) for the highest versus lowest categories of red meat intake with significant heterogeneity among studies (P(heterogeneity) < 0.001, I(2) = 67.6 %). When stratified by the study design, the significant associations were observed in population-based case-control studies (RR 1.58; 95 % CI 1.22-2.06; P(heterogeneity) < 0.001, I(2) = 73.0 %) and hospital-based case-control studies (RR 1.63; 95 % CI 1.38-1.92; P(heterogeneity) = 0.284, I(2) = 19.1 %). However, no association was observed among cohort studies (RR 1.00; 95 % CI 0.83-1.20; P(heterogeneity) = 0.158, I(2) = 33.9 %). The significant association was also presented in the subgroup analysis by geographic area (Asia, Europe), publication year (≥2000), sample size (<1,000, ≥1,000) and quality score (<7 stars, ≥7 stars). The dose-response analysis associated every 100 g/day increment in red meat intake with a 17 % increased gastric cancer risk (RR 1.17; 95 % CI 1.05-1.32). A linear regression model further revealed that the risk of gastric cancer increased with increasing level of red meat consumption.


Increased intake of red meat might be a risk factor for stomach cancer. Further larger prospective studies are warranted to verify this association.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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