As one of the most common cancers in females, it’s important to know which factors influence breast cancer risk.
Previous studies have linked various cancers to type and amount of meat eaten, but relatively little is known about the effect of meat consumption on breast cancer.
It’s this knowledge gap that researchers set out to fill by analysing data on over 40,000 US and Puerto Rican female participants of The Sister Study.
The team followed participants for at least six years, recording detailed dietary, medical and demographic information as well as incidence of breast cancer.
Even after controlling for a range of other factors, the scientists found significant correlation between types of meat eaten and risk of developing cancer.
Those who ate the most red meat had a 23% higher risk than those who ate the least. Conversely, those who ate the most poultry had a 15% lower risk than those who ate the least. This held true regardless of how the meat was cooked.
The study was limited in that it was observational, looked only at women, and took dietary information just once. These limitations, as well as the mixed results of previous research in the area, mean there is still significant further work to do before a conclusive link can be drawn.
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Source: Medical News Today
Lo JJ, Park YM, Sinha R, Sandler DP. Association between meat consumption and risk of breast cancer: Findings from the Sister Study. Int J Cancer. 2019 Aug 6. DOI: 10.1002/ijc.32547. [Epub ahead of print]