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BMJ. 2019 Jun 12;365:l2110. doi: 10.1136/bmj.l2110.

Association of changes in red meat consumption with total and cause specific mortality among US women and men: two prospective cohort studies.

Zheng Y1,2,3, Li Y3, Satija A3, Pan A4, Sotos-Prieto M3,5,6,7, Rimm E3,8,9, Willett WC3,8,9, Hu FB10,8,9.

Author information

1
Department of Cardiology, State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering, School of Life Sciences and Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
2
Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Public Health Safety, School of Public Health, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
3
Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.
4
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Environment and Health, and State Key Laboratory of Environmental Health (Incubating), School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China.
5
Department of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.
6
Division of Food Sciences and Nutrition, School of Applied Health Sciences and Wellness, and Diabetes Institute, Ohio University, Athens, OH, USA.
7
Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
8
Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.
9
Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
10
Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA fhu@hsph.harvard.edu.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the association of changes in red meat consumption with total and cause specific mortality in women and men.

DESIGN:

Two prospective cohort studies with repeated measures of diet and lifestyle factors.

SETTING:

Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, United States.

PARTICIPANTS:

53 553 women and 27 916 men without cardiovascular disease or cancer at baseline.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Death confirmed by state vital statistics records, the national death index, or reported by families and the postal system.

RESULTS:

14 019 deaths occurred during 1.2 million person years of follow-up. Increases in red meat consumption over eight years were associated with a higher mortality risk in the subsequent eight years among women and men (both P for trend<0.05, P for heterogeneity=0.97). An increase in total red meat consumption of at least half a serving per day was associated with a 10% higher mortality risk (pooled hazard ratio 1.10, 95% confidence interval 1.04 to 1.17). For processed and unprocessed red meat consumption, an increase of at least half a serving per day was associated with a 13% higher mortality risk (1.13, 1.04 to 1.23) and a 9% higher mortality risk (1.09, 1.02 to 1.17), respectively. A decrease in consumption of processed or unprocessed red meat of at least half a serving per day was not associated with mortality risk. The association between increased red meat consumption and mortality risk was consistent across subgroups defined by age, physical activity, dietary quality, smoking status, or alcohol consumption.

CONCLUSION:

Increases in red meat consumption, especially processed meat, were associated with higher overall mortality rates.

PMID:
31189526
PMCID:
PMC6559336
DOI:
10.1136/bmj.l2110
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests: All authors have completed the ICMJE uniform disclosure form at www.icmje.org/coi_disclosure.pdf and declare: support from the National Institutes of Health; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; and the Boston Obesity Nutrition Research Center for the submitted work; support from the FBH reported being supported by grants HL60712, HL118264, and DK112940 from the National Institutes of Health, and reported receiving research support from the California Walnut Commission and honorariums for lectures from Metagenics and Standard Process and honorariums from Diet Quality Photo Navigation, outside the submitted work.

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