Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 24, Issue 12, pp 2217–2229 | Cite as

Racial disparities in red meat and poultry intake and breast cancer risk

  • Urmila ChandranEmail author
  • Gary Zirpoli
  • Gregory Ciupak
  • Susan E. McCann
  • Zhihong Gong
  • Karen Pawlish
  • Yong Lin
  • Kitaw Demissie
  • Christine B. Ambrosone
  • Elisa V. Bandera
Original paper



Research on the role of red meat and poultry consumption in breast carcinogenesis is inconclusive, but the evidence in African-American (AA) women is lacking. The association between consuming meat and breast cancer risk was examined in the Women’s Circle of Health Study involving 803 AA cases, 889 AA controls, 755 Caucasian cases, and 701 Caucasian controls.


Dietary information was collected using a Food Frequency Questionnaire. Odds ratios (OR) and 95 % confidence intervals (CI) were obtained from logistic regression models adjusting for potential covariates.


Comparing the fourth versus the first quartiles, among Caucasian women, processed meat (OR = 1.48; 95 % CI 1.07–2.04), unprocessed red meat (OR = 1.40; 95 % CI 1.01–1.94), and poultry intakes (OR = 1.42; 95 % CI 1.01–1.99) increased breast cancer risk. Risk associated with poultry intake was more dominant in premenopausal women (OR = 2.33; 95 % CI 1.44–3.77) and for women with ER− tumors (OR = 2.55; 95 % CI 1.29–5.03) in the Caucasian group. Associations in AA women were mostly null except for a significant increased risk trend with processed meat consumption for ER+ tumors (OR = 1.36; 95 % CI 0.94–1.97, p trend = 0.04).


Overall, associations between breast cancer risk and consumption of red meat and poultry were of different magnitude in AA and Caucasian women, with further differences noted by menopausal and hormone receptor status in Caucasian women. This is the first study to examine racial differences in meat and breast cancer risk and represents some of the first evidence in AA women.


Meat African-American Breast cancer Poultry Race Estrogen receptor 



This work was funded by National Cancer Institute (P01 CA151135, R01 CA100598, K22 CA138563, and P30CA072720), US Army Medical Research and Material Command (DAMD-17-01-1-0334), the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and a gift from the Philip L. Hubbell family. The New Jersey State Cancer Registry is supported by the National Program of Cancer Registries of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under cooperative agreement 1US58DP003931-01 awarded to the New Jersey Department of Health. The collection of New Jersey cancer incidence data is also supported by the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program of the National Cancer Institute under contract N01PC-2010-00027 and the State of New Jersey. The funding agents played no role in design, in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data, in the writing of the manuscript, or in the decision to submit the manuscript for publication. We thank the colleagues, physicians, and clinical staff in New York and New Jersey who facilitated identification and enrollment of cases into the study: Kandace Amend (i3 Drug Safety), Helena Furberg (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center), Thomas Rohan and Joseph Sparano (Albert Einstein College of Medicine), Paul Tartter and Alison Estabrook (St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital), James Reilly (Kings County Hospital Center), Benjamin Pace, George Raptis, and Christina Weltz (Mount Sinai School of Medicine), Maria Castaldi (Jacob Medical Center), Sheldon Feldman (New York-Presbyterian), and Margaret Kemeny (Queens Hospital Center). We also thank our research personnel at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Rutgers School of Public Health, and the New Jersey State Cancer Registry, as well as our African-American breast cancer advocates and community partners, and all the women who generously donated their time to participate in the study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Urmila Chandran
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Gary Zirpoli
    • 3
  • Gregory Ciupak
    • 3
  • Susan E. McCann
    • 3
  • Zhihong Gong
    • 3
  • Karen Pawlish
    • 4
  • Yong Lin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kitaw Demissie
    • 1
    • 2
  • Christine B. Ambrosone
    • 3
  • Elisa V. Bandera
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Rutgers Cancer Institute of New JerseyRobert Wood Johnson Medical SchoolNew BrunswickUSA
  2. 2.Rutgers School of Public HealthPiscatawayUSA
  3. 3.Roswell Park Cancer InstituteBuffaloUSA
  4. 4.New Jersey State Cancer RegistryNew Jersey Department of HealthTrentonUSA

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