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Red and processed meat intake and risk of colorectal adenomas: a systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiological studies

Abstract

Background

Current evidence indicates that red and processed meat intake increases the risk of colorectal cancer; however, the association with colorectal adenomas is unclear.

Objective

To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiological studies of red and processed meat intake and risk of colorectal adenomas as part of the Continuous Update Project of the World Cancer Research Fund.

Design

PubMed and several other databases were searched for relevant studies from their inception up to 31 December 2011. Summary relative risks (RRs) were estimated using a random effects model.

Results

Nineteen case–control studies and seven prospective studies were included in the analyses. The summary RR per 100 g/day of red meat was 1.27 (95 % CI 1.16–1.40, I 2 = 5 %, n = 16) for all studies combined, 1.20 (95 % CI 1.06–1.36, I 2 = 0 %, n = 6) for prospective studies, and 1.34 (95 % CI 1.12–1.59, I 2 = 31 %, n = 10) for case–control studies. The summary RR per 50 g/day of processed meat intake was 1.29 (95 % CI 1.10–1.53, I 2 = 27 %, n = 10) for all studies combined, 1.45 (95 % CI 1.10–1.90, I 2 = 0 %, n = 2) for prospective studies, and 1.23 (95 % CI 0.99–1.52, I 2 = 37 %, n = 8) for case–control studies. There was evidence of a nonlinear association between red meat (p nonlinearity < 0.001) and processed meat (p nonlinearity = 0.01) intake and colorectal adenoma risk.

Conclusion

These results indicate an elevated risk of colorectal adenomas with intake of red and processed meat, but further prospective studies are warranted.

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Acknowledgments

We thank the systematic literature review team at Wageningen University for their contributions to the colorectal adenoma database. We thank Dr. Camilla Furu Skjelbred, Professor Elin H. Kure, Dr. Chisato Nagata and Dr. Kana Wu for clarifying definitions of red meat in their studies. The views expressed in this review are the opinions of the authors. They may not represent the views of WCRF International/AICR and may differ from those in future updates of the evidence related to food, nutrition, physical activity, and cancer risk. The systematic literature review team at the Wageningen University conducted the search, data selection, and data extraction up to December 2005. DSMC did the updated literature search and study selection. DSMC, DANR, and ARV did the updated data extraction. DA conducted the statistical analyses and wrote the first draft of the original manuscript. DCG was expert statistical advisor and contributed toward the statistical analyses. All authors contributed to the revision of the manuscript. DA had primary responsibility for final content. EK was PI of the SLR at Wageningen University and TN is the PI of the Continuous Update Project. All authors had full access to all of the data in the study. The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest. This work was funded by the World Cancer Research Fund (grant number 2007/SP01) as part of the Continuous Update Project (www.dietandcancerreport.org).

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The authors have declared no conflicts of interest.

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Aune, D., Chan, D.S.M., Vieira, A.R. et al. Red and processed meat intake and risk of colorectal adenomas: a systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiological studies. Cancer Causes Control 24, 611–627 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10552-012-0139-z

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10552-012-0139-z

Keywords

  • Red meat
  • Processed meat
  • Diet
  • Colorectal adenomas
  • Polyps
  • Meta-analysis
  • The Continuous Update Project