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Am J Epidemiol. 2016 Dec 1;184(11):829-836. Epub 2016 Oct 27.

Consumption of Unprocessed and Processed Red Meat and the Risk of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Prospective Cohort Study of Men.


Consumption of both processed and unprocessed red meat has been associated with a higher risk of major chronic diseases. However, only processed meat consumption has been studied in relation to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Therefore, we endeavored to determine the association between the risk of COPD and consumption of processed and unprocessed red meat while taking into account smoking status. The population-based prospective Cohort of Swedish Men included 43,848 men who were 45-79 years of age and had no history of COPD or cancer at baseline. Meat consumption was assessed using a self-administered questionnaire in 1997. During 13.2 years of follow-up, 1,909 COPD cases were ascertained. Consumption of processed meat was associated with risk of COPD: Compared with men who consumed less than 25 g/day of processed meat, men who consumed 75 g/day or more had a multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio of 1.21 (95% confidence interval: 1.02, 1.44; P for trend = 0.03). The positive association was confined to current smokers (P for interaction = 0.003); among smokers who consumed 75 g/day or more of processed red meat, the hazard ratio was 1.26 (95% confidence interval: 1.00, 1.60) when compared with persons who consumed less than 25 g/day. Consumption of unprocessed red meat was not associated with COPD incidence. Findings from this prospective study indicate that high consumption of processed red meat is associated with an increased COPD risk among smokers.


chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; processed meat; prospective cohort study; red meat

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