Red and processed meat have been consistently associated with colorectal cancer risk, but evidence for other cancer sites and for poultry intake is limited. We therefore examined associations between total, red and processed meat and poultry intake and incidence for 20 common cancers.
We analyzed data from 474 996 participants (54% women) in UK Biobank. Participants were aged 37-73 years and cancer-free at baseline (2006-10). Multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazards models were used to determine associations between baseline meat intake and cancer incidence. Trends in risk across the baseline categories were calculated, assigning re-measured intakes from a subsample.
During a mean follow-up of 6.9 years, 28 955 participants were diagnosed with malignant cancer. After correction for multiple testing, red and processed meat combined, and processed meat, were each positively associated with colorectal cancer risk [hazard ratio (HR) per 70 g/day higher intake of red and processed meat 1.32, 95% confidence interval 1.14-1.53; HR per 20 g/day higher intake of processed meat 1.18, 1.03-1.31] and red meat was associated with colon cancer risk (HR per 50 g/day higher intake of red meat 1.36, 1.13-1.64). Positive associations of red meat intake with colorectal and prostate cancer, processed meat intake with rectal cancer and poultry intake with cancers of the lymphatic and haematopoietic tissues did not survive multiple testing.
Conclusions Higher intake of red and processed meat was specifically associated with a higher risk of colorectal cancer; there was little evidence that meat intake was associated with risk of other cancers.
Mediating mechanisms linking anthropometric, lifestyle and dietary risk factors with cancer risk
The mediating mechanisms linking anthropometric and lifestyle risk factors with cancer development and survival remain unclear. We aim to investigate the potential mediating roles of metabolic factors (including biomarkers and intermediate conditions and diseases) on the association between risk factors (e.g. fat mass, diet, physical activity) and subsequent cancer diagnosis, death and survival by cancer type. The proposed project aims to understand the mechanisms that underpin the association of risk factors with cancer development and progression, which is consistent with UK Biobank's mission of health-related research that is in the interest of the public good. In the first stage of this project we will run prospective analyses to assess the associations of potential risk factors with risk of, and death from, specific cancers. If there are sufficient cases and available information on tumour characteristics, we will split tumours into subtypes. We will also assess the association between the potential risk factors and each of the possible mediators, as well as the prospective associations between the mediators and cancer risk. Finally, we will estimate the mediation effects of the individual mediators in the associations between risk factors and cancer risk. We intend to include all participants of the UK Biobank cohort.
|Lead investigator:||Dr Aurora Perez-Cornago|
|Lead institution:||University of Oxford|