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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

A review and meta-analysis of prospective studies of red and processed meat intake and prostate cancer

Dominik D Alexander1*, Pamela J Mink2, Colleen A Cushing1 and Bonnie Sceurman3

Author Affiliations

1 Health Sciences Practice, Exponent Inc.; 185 Hansen Court, Suite 100, Wood Dale, IL 60191, USA

2 Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University; 1518 Clifton Road, Room 3031 CNR Bldg, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA

3 Health Sciences Practice, Exponent Inc.; 1150 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington D.C, USA

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Nutrition Journal 2010, 9:50  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-9-50

Published: 2 November 2010

Abstract

Over the past decade, several large epidemiologic investigations of meat intake and prostate cancer have been published. Therefore, a meta-analysis of prospective studies was conducted to estimate potential associations between red or processed meat intake and prostate cancer. Fifteen studies of red meat and 11 studies of processed meat were included in the analyses. High vs. low intake and dose-response analyses were conducted using random effects models to generate summary relative risk estimates (SRRE). No association between high vs. low red meat consumption (SRRE = 1.00, 95% CI: 0.96-1.05) or each 100 g increment of red meat (SRRE = 1.00, 95% CI: 0.95-1.05) and total prostate cancer was observed. Similarly, no association with red meat was observed for advanced prostate cancer (SRRE = 1.01, 95% CI: 0.94-1.09). A weakly elevated summary association between processed meat and total prostate cancer was found (SRRE = 1.05, 95% CI: 0.99-1.12), although heterogeneity was present, the association was attenuated in a sub-group analysis of studies that adjusted for multiple potential confounding factors, and publication bias likely affected the summary effect. In conclusion, the results of this meta-analysis are not supportive of an independent positive association between red or processed meat intake and prostate cancer.