Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 151, Issue 1, pp 191–198 | Cite as

Red and processed meat intake and risk of breast cancer: a meta-analysis of prospective studies

  • Jingyu Guo
  • Wei Wei
  • Lixing Zhan


Epidemiological studies regarding the association between red and processed meat intake and the risk of breast cancer have yielded inconsistent results. Therefore, we conducted an updated and comprehensive meta-analysis which included 14 prospective studies to evaluate the association of red and processed meat intake with breast cancer risk. Relevant prospective cohort studies were identified by searching PubMed through October 31, 2014, and by reviewing the reference lists of retrieved articles. Study-specific relative risk (RR) estimates were pooled using a random-effects model. Fourteen prospective studies on red meat (involving 31,552 cases) and 12 prospective studies on processed meat were included in the meta-analysis. The summary RRs (95 % CI) of breast cancer for the highest versus the lowest categories were 1.10 (1.02, 1.19) for red meat, and 1.08 (1.01, 1.15) for processed meat. The estimated summary RRs (95 % CI) were 1.11 (1.05, 1.16) for an increase of 120 g/day of red meat, and 1.09 (1.03, 1.16) for an increase of 50 g/day of processed meat. Our findings indicate that increased intake of red and processed meat is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. Further research with well-designed cohort or interventional studies is needed to confirm the association.


Red meat Processed meat Prospective studies Meta-analysis Breast cancer 



The study was supported by grants from the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2011CB510104 and 2012CB945004), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31090362), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81071684), the Hundred Talents Program (2010OHTP11), Shanghai PuJiang Talent program (11PJ1411200), and the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2012BAK01B00).

Conflict of interest

The authors of this study have no conflict of interest or any financial disclosures to make.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Food Safety Research, Institute for Nutritional Sciences, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of SciencesUniversity of Chinese Academy of SciencesShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Food Safety Risk AssessmentMinistry of HealthBeijingChina

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