Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 41–50 | Cite as

Meat and dairy consumption and subsequent risk of prostate cancer in a US cohort study

  • Sabine Rohrmann
  • Elizabeth A. PlatzEmail author
  • Claudine J. Kavanaugh
  • Lucy Thuita
  • Sandra C. Hoffman
  • Kathy J. Helzlsouer
Original Paper



To evaluate the association of meat and dairy food consumption with subsequent risk of prostate cancer.


In 1989, 3,892 men 35+ years old, who participated in the CLUE II study of Washington County, MD, completed an abbreviated Block food frequency questionnaire. Intake of meat and dairy foods was calculated using consumption frequency and portion size. Incident prostate cancer cases (n = 199) were ascertained through October 2004. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to calculate hazard ratios (HR) of total and advanced (SEER stages three and four; n = 54) prostate cancer and 95% confidence intervals (CI) adjusted for age, BMI at age 21, and intake of energy, saturated fat, and tomato products.


Intakes of total meat (HR = 0.90, 95% CI 0.60–1.33, comparing highest to lowest tertile) and red meat (HR = 0.87, 95% CI 0.59–1.32) were not statistically significantly associated with prostate cancer. However, processed meat consumption was associated with a non-statistically significant higher risk of total (5+ vs. ≤1 servings/week: HR = 1.53, 95% CI 0.98–2.39) and advanced (HR = 2.24; 95% CI 0.90–5.59) prostate cancer. There was no association across tertiles of dairy or calcium with total prostate cancer, although compared to ≤1 serving/week consumption of 5+ servings/week of dairy foods was associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer (HR = 1.65, 95% CI 1.02–2.66).


Overall, consumption of processed meat, but not total meat or red meat, was associated with a possible increased risk of total prostate cancer in this prospective study. Higher intake of dairy foods but not calcium was positively associated with prostate cancer. Further investigation into the mechanisms by which processed meat and dairy consumption might increase the risk of prostate cancer is suggested.


Prostate cancer Meat Dairy Cohort study 



We thank Judy Hoffman-Bolton and Alyce Burke at the George W. Comstock Center for Public Health Research and Prevention in Hagerstown, MD, for their continuing efforts in the ongoing CLUE II study. Supported by National Cancer Institute Grant CA08030, National Institute of Aging Grant AG18033, and Department of Defense Grant DAMD17-94-J-4265. Dr. Rohrmann was supported by the Fund for Research and Progress in Urology, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. These data were supplied in part by the Maryland Cancer Registry of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Baltimore, MD, which specifically disclaims responsibility for any analyses, interpretations, or conclusions of this study.


  1. 1.
    Michaud DS, Augustsson K, Rimm EB, Stampfer MJ, Willet WC, Giovannucci E (2001) A prospective study on intake of animal products and risk of prostate cancer. Cancer Causes Control 12:557–567PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Schuurman AG, van den Brandt PA, Dorant E, Goldbohm RA (1999) Animal products, calcium and protein and prostate cancer risk in The Netherlands Cohort Study. Br J Cancer 80:1107–1113PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Le Marchand L, Kolonel LN, Wilkens LR, Myers BC, Hirohata T (1994) Animal fat consumption and prostate cancer: a prospective study in Hawaii. Epidemiology 5:276–282PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Dagnelie PC, Schuurman AG, Goldbohm RA, Van den Brandt PA (2004) Diet, anthropometric measures and prostate cancer risk: a review of prospective cohort and intervention studies. BJU Int 93:1139–1150PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Sinha R (2002) An epidemiologic approach to studying heterocyclic amines. Mutat Res 506–507:197–204PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bingham SA, Hughes R, Cross AJ (2002) Effect of white versus red meat on endogenous N-nitrosation in the human colon and further evidence of a dose response. J Nutr 132:3522S–3525SPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Schumann K (2001) Safety aspects of iron in food. Ann Nutr Metab 45:91–101PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Zhao X-Y, Feldman D (2001) The role of vitamin D in prostate cancer. Steroids 66:293–300PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Gunnell D, Oliver SE, Peters TJ, et al (2003) Are diet-prostate cancer associations mediated by the IGF axis? A cross-sectional analysis of diet, IGF-I and IGFBP-3 in healthy middle-aged men. Br J Cancer 88:1682–1686PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Holmes MD, Pollak MN, Willett WC, Hankinson SE (2002) Dietary correlates of plasma insulin-like growth factor I and insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 concentrations. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 11:852–861PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Stattin P, Bylund A, Rinaldi S, et al (2000) Plasma insulin-like growth factor-I, insulin-like growth factor-binding proteins, and prostate cancer risk: a prospective study. J Natl Cancer Inst 92:1910–1917PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Wolk A, Mantzoros C, Andersson S, et al (1998) Insulin-like growth factor 1 and prostate cancer risk: a population-based, case–control study. J Natl Cancer Inst 90:911–915PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Block G, Hartman AM, Dresser CM, Carroll MD, Gannon J, Gardner L (1986) A data-based approach to diet questionnaire design and testing. Am J Epidemiol 124:453–469PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Willett WC (1998) Nutritional epidemiology, 2nd edn. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    National Institutes of Health (2000) SEER summary staging manual.
  16. 16.
    American Institute for Cancer Research/World Cancer Research Fund (1997) Food, nutrition and the prevention of cancer: a global perspective. Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kolonel LN (2001) Fat, meat, and prostate cancer. Epidemiol Rev 23:72–81PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lijinsky W (1999) N-Nitroso compounds in the diet. Mutat Res 443:129–138PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Cross AJ, Peters U, Kirsh VA, et al (2005) A prospective study of meat and meat mutagens and prostate cancer risk. Cancer Res 65:11779–11784PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Norrish AE, Ferguson LR, Knize MG, Felton JS, Sharpe SJ, Jackson RT (1999) Heterocyclic amine content of cooked meat and risk of prostate cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst 91:2038–2044PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Chan JM, Stampfer MJ, Ma J, Gann PH, Gaziano JM, Giovannucci EL (2001) Dairy products, calcium, and prostate cancer risk in the Physicians’ Health Study. Am J Clin Nutr 74:549–554PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Snowdon DA, Phillips RL, Choi W (1984) Diet, obesity, and risk of fatal prostate cancer. Am J Epidemiol 120:244–250PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Rodriguez C, McCullough ML, Mondul AM, et al (2003) Calcium, dairy products, and risk of prostate cancer in a prospective cohort of United States men. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 12:597–603PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Giovannucci E, Rimm EB, Wolk A, et al (1998) Calcium and fructose intake in relation to risk of prostate cancer. Cancer Res 58:442–447PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Berndt SI, Carter HB, Landis PK, et al (2002) Calcium intake and prostate cancer risk in a long-term aging study: the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. Urology 60:1118–1123PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Chan JM, Pietinen P, Virtanen M, et al (2000) Diet and prostate cancer risk in a cohort of smokers, with a specific focus on calcium and phosphorus (Finland). Cancer Causes Control 11:859–867PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Institute of Medicine of The National Academies (1997) Dietary reference intakes for calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, vitamin D, and fluoride.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sabine Rohrmann
    • 1
    • 2
  • Elizabeth A. Platz
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • Claudine J. Kavanaugh
    • 5
  • Lucy Thuita
    • 1
  • Sandra C. Hoffman
    • 1
    • 6
  • Kathy J. Helzlsouer
    • 1
    • 3
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Division of Clinical EpidemiologyGerman Cancer Research CenterHeidelbergGermany
  3. 3.Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns HopkinsBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute, Johns Hopkins Medical InstitutionsBaltimoreUSA
  5. 5.Center for Food Safety and NutritionUnited States Food and Drug AdministrationCollege ParkUSA
  6. 6.George W. Comstock Center for Public Health Research and PreventionJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthHagerstownUSA
  7. 7.Mercy Medical CenterBaltimoreUSA

Personalised recommendations