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Ann Intern Med. 2019 Oct 1. doi: 10.7326/M19-0655. [Epub ahead of print]

Red and Processed Meat Consumption and Risk for All-Cause Mortality and Cardiometabolic Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Cohort Studies.

Author information

1
McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada (D.Z., G.H.G., K.C., K.M., M.Z., J.J.B., Y.L., S.E.H.).
2
Chosun University, Gwangju, Republic of Korea (M.A.H.).
3
Netherlands Comprehensive Cancer Organisation (IKNL), Utrecht, the Netherlands, and Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada (R.W.V.).
4
Science and Technology Institute, Universidade Estadual Paulista, São Paulo, Brazil, and Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada (R.E.).
5
Biomedical Research Institute San Pau (IIB Sant Pau), Barcelona, Spain (C.V., M.R.).
6
Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland (J.Z., A.P., M.M.B.).
7
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (C.L.).
8
Biomedical Research Institute San Pau (IIB Sant Pau) and CIBER de Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Barcelona, Spain (P.A.).
9
Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada (B.C.J.).

Abstract

Background:

Dietary guidelines generally recommend limiting intake of red and processed meat. However, the quality of evidence implicating red and processed meat in adverse health outcomes remains unclear.

Purpose:

To evaluate the association between red and processed meat consumption and all-cause mortality, cardiometabolic outcomes, quality of life, and satisfaction with diet among adults.

Data Sources:

EMBASE (Elsevier), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (Wiley), Web of Science (Clarivate Analytics), CINAHL (EBSCO), and ProQuest from inception until July 2018 and MEDLINE from inception until April 2019, without language restrictions, as well as bibliographies of relevant articles.

Study Selection:

Cohort studies with at least 1000 participants that reported an association between unprocessed red or processed meat intake and outcomes of interest.

Data Extraction:

Teams of 2 reviewers independently extracted data and assessed risk of bias. One investigator assessed certainty of evidence, and the senior investigator confirmed the assessments.

Data Synthesis:

Of 61 articles reporting on 55 cohorts with more than 4 million participants, none addressed quality of life or satisfaction with diet. Low-certainty evidence was found that a reduction in unprocessed red meat intake of 3 servings per week is associated with a very small reduction in risk for cardiovascular mortality, stroke, myocardial infarction (MI), and type 2 diabetes. Likewise, low-certainty evidence was found that a reduction in processed meat intake of 3 servings per week is associated with a very small decrease in risk for all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, stroke, MI, and type 2 diabetes.

Limitation:

Inadequate adjustment for known confounders, residual confounding due to observational design, and recall bias associated with dietary measurement.

Conclusion:

The magnitude of association between red and processed meat consumption and all-cause mortality and adverse cardiometabolic outcomes is very small, and the evidence is of low certainty.

Primary Funding Source:

None. (PROSPERO: CRD42017074074).

PMID:
31569213
DOI:
10.7326/M19-0655

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