JAMA study confirms link between red meat and mortality


  • Dawn O'Shea
  • Univadis Medical News
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A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine confirms the negative effects of eating red meat.

The findings are timely, follow the publication of a controversial study in the Annals of Internal Medicine in October which reported that reduced red and processed meat intake does not have an effect on all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer incidence, or cancer mortality. The study has since been discredited after it emerged that the authors had failed to disclose industry funding.

This new study of 29,682 adults pooled from six prospective cohort studies concluded that intake of processed meat and unprocessed red meat was significantly associated with incident CVD and all-cause mortality.

During 562,624 follow-up years, there were 8,875 all-cause deaths and 6,963 incident CVD events (2,687 coronary heart disease events [38.6%], 1,740 strokes [25.0%], 2,366 heart failure events [34.0%], and 170 other CVD deaths [2.4%]).

Each additional two servings of processed meat per week was significantly associated with all-cause mortality (HR 1.03; 95% CI 1.02-1.05]. Thirty-year absolute risk difference (ARD) was 10 per cent (HR 0.90%; 95% CI 0.43%-1.38%). Each additional two servings of unprocessed red meat was significantly associated with all-cause mortality (HR 1.03; 95% CI 1.01-1.05), with a 30-year ARD of 0.76% (95% CI, 0.19%-1.33%).