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Ribs Red Meat Fire

Increasing Red Meat Consumption Associated With Increased Risk of Death


Consumption of red meat, especially processed red meat, has been
associated with a higher risk of heart disease, colorectal cancer, and type 2
diabetes. Now a new study has found that consuming increasing amounts of red
meat could result in an increased risk of death.





For their study, the researchers looked at data from 53,553 women
who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study and 27,916 men who participated in
the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. All the participants completed a food
frequency questionnaire in 1986 and every four years thereafter. The
researchers analyzed changes in red meat consumption over eight years, and
mortality risk during the subsequent eight years.





Participants were divided into five categories based on their
changes in red meat consumption:





  1. increase of >0.5 serving per day or 3.5
    servings per week;
  2. increase of 0.15-0.5 serving per day or 1-3.5
    servings per week;
  3. decrease of >0.5 serving per day or 3.5
    servings per week;
  4. decrease of 0.15-0.5 serving per day or 1-3.5
    servings per week;
  5. and one reference category (increase or decrease
    of <0.15 serving per day or <1 serving per week).




During the study period, the leading causes of death were
cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease, and neurogenerative
disease. Participants who increased their red meat consumption by at least 3.5
servings per week over eight years had a 10% higher risk of death in the next
eight years.





Participants who exchanged one serving of red meat per day for
more whole grains, vegetables, or other protein foods were found to have a
lower risk of death. Exchanging one serving per day of red meat for one serving
of fish over eight years was associated with a 17% lower risk of death.





The study was conducted by researchers from Fudan University,
China and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. It was published June
12, 2019 in The BMJ.


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