Advertisement

Archive for Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Study: Red meat boosts mortality risk

March 24, 2009

Advertisement

— The largest study of its kind finds that older Americans who eat large amounts of red meat and processed meats face a greater risk of death from heart disease and cancer.

The federal study of more than half a million men and women bolsters prior evidence of the health risks of diets laden with red meat like hamburger and processed meats like hot dogs, bacon and cold cuts.

Calling the increased risk modest, lead author Rashmi Sinha of the National Cancer Institute said the findings support the advice of several health groups to limit red and processed meat intake to decrease cancer risk.

The findings appear in Monday’s Archives of Internal Medicine.

Over 10 years, eating the equivalent of a quarter-pound hamburger daily gave men in the study a 22 percent higher risk of dying of cancer and a 27 percent higher risk of dying of heart disease. That’s compared with those who ate the least red meat, just 5 ounces per week.

Women who ate large amounts of red meat had a 20 percent higher risk of dying of cancer and a 50 percent higher risk of dying of heart disease than women who ate less.

For processed meats, the increased risks for large quantities were slightly lower overall than for red meat.

Comments

Chris Ogle 5 years, 9 months ago

Thank God, I can still have a glass of wine.... How about three or four glasses.... ahh that's better.

beawolf 5 years, 9 months ago

My goodness, what a skewed study. A quarterpounder a day equals 28oz a week compared to those who ate 5oz a week? Not to mention that there were no comparisons of those who eat lean red meat vs those who eat hamburger (with 20% to 30% fat).

The headline should have been: " Fatty hamburger boots mortality rate".

WHY 5 years, 9 months ago

I used to eat several quarterpounders a day for lunch plus steak for dinner. I bet most people eat more meat than 1 hamburger a day.

jonas_opines 5 years, 9 months ago

beawolf (Anonymous) says…

"My goodness, what a skewed study. A quarterpounder a day equals 28oz a week compared to those who ate 5oz a week? Not to mention that there were no comparisons of those who eat lean red meat vs those who eat hamburger (with 20% to 30% fat)."

Did you read the study, or are you basing that off this single article?

cthulhu_4_president 5 years, 9 months ago

beawolf (Anonymous) says…

“My goodness, what a skewed study. A quarterpounder a day equals 28oz a week compared to those who ate 5oz a week? Not to mention that there were no comparisons of those who eat lean red meat vs those who eat hamburger (with 20% to 30% fat).”

jonas_opines (Anonymous) says…

Did you read the study, or are you basing that off this single article?

An interesting question Jonas asks. Unfortunately, the study was published in a journal fron consumerfreedom, and the only way to get to see it first-hand is to pay the yearly subscription fee ($140!!!). There are "secondhand" article sites such as sciencenews, but they are secondhand accounts, and can be biased (the scientific equivalent taking advice from Oprah if you can't access the news: facts that may or may not be presented in a skewed way, with no way to gauge accuracy since we can't see the original).

There should be greater transparancy for these kind of studies so that the layperson can access the results, then intelligent concerns such as the one raised by Beowulf can be anwered. Of course, if this happens people will misinterpret the results, jump to the wrong conclusions, and warp the data to say other things, but people do this already, as the posts on this thread have and will no doubt show.

feeble 5 years, 9 months ago

cthulhu_4_president, you are quite wrong. The article is available, free and online, at the Archives of Internal Medicine's site: http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/169/6/562

Maybe you should check out Google scholar next time, before breaking out the soap box.

cthulhu_4_president 5 years, 9 months ago

feeble: You're right, and I'm not surprised that I missed it, as I usually shy away from all things google-related as research tools. This is a good thing that this study is out! And I am happy to be proven wrong (as all seekers of the truth should be). However, my "soapbox" points remain quite valid, as it is quite hard to breach the ivory tower on some of the more hotly contested issues that are medically related and make popular headlines, such as a study that was released recently whose conclusion was "Maggot therapy is no more effective than hydrogel at treating leg ulcers", however some news outlets ran with the story as "Hydrogel: As effective as maggot therapy". One conclusion, two different stories, and a heck of a misinterpretation of data that could be avoided by greater transparancy and access to this data.

Thanks, though, for the source!

sgtwolverine 5 years, 9 months ago

When I saw a study whose authors put forward a conclusion and then freely admitted they had correlation but not a whiff of causation, I decided to worry less about the results of studies.

zettapixel 5 years, 9 months ago

Don't take life too seriously, you'll never get out alive.

snoozey 5 years, 9 months ago

Well, that's a very nice statistic but I have to ask if all other factors in the big red meat eaters as opposed the the minimal meat eating populations were equal. I would predict the groups that ate the least red meat also enjoyed the most exercise, didn't use tobacco, and generally lived a more healthy lifestyle than the buffet line superstars who consumed the most red meat. Taking isolated data from a large retrospective study like this one doesn't clearly associate cause and effect. For example more women than men buy greeting cards but few would argue that buying these cards would cause men to become women. Picking pieces from a large, uncontrolled study and trying to put them together is unsound.

gr 5 years, 9 months ago

"When I saw a study whose authors put forward a conclusion and then freely admitted they had correlation but not a whiff of causation, I decided to worry less about the results of studies."

Yep. More need to apply that to global warming.

MyName 5 years, 9 months ago

I would predict the groups that ate the least red meat also enjoyed the most exercise, didn't use tobacco, and generally lived a more healthy lifestyle than the buffet line superstars who consumed the most red meat.

That may be true, but they probably controlled for those things (would have to read the article to be sure though). The point of the article is that cutting back on red meat is a good way to moderately reduce your risk for cancer or heart disease. The big things you mentioned, like not smoking and trying to watch what you eat and get exercise, will reduce the risks alot more.

feeble 5 years, 9 months ago

snoozey (Anonymous) says…

Well, that's a very nice statistic but I have to ask if all other factors in the big red meat eaters as opposed the the minimal meat eating populations were equal.

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you didn't see my previous comment that included a direct link to the study.

Second paragraph on the page, Abstract > Methods:

"The covariates included in the models were age, education, marital status, family history of cancer (yes/no) (cancer mortality only), race, body mass index, 31-level smoking history, physical activity, energy intake, alcohol intake, vitamin supplement use, fruit consumption, vegetable consumption, and menopausal hormone therapy among women."

cthulhu_4_president 5 years, 9 months ago

Feeble: After you corrected my first post, I began looking around, wondering how I could have made such a big error, and I realized that the study I was referencing in my first post (by the Center for Consumer Freedom) was actually another study that supposedly contradicts the claims of this study! From the press release:


"It’s ridiculous to try to separate our diets from our lifestyles," Martosko said. "Nobody eats in a vacuum, and countless variables go into figuring out when we die. This study’s data connect mortality with smoking, a lack of exercise, taking daily vitamins, and even marriage. It’s silly to suggest that any single factor is the biggest one."

It is this study, which must be bought and paid for to be viewed, that I was referencing in my earlier post. I'm not saying that I agree with the statements here, as none of us can say if we do or not, since we haven't bought our subscription. It would be nice, though, to have this data out in the open. The two studies were mentioned closely together in the story, and I mixed them up.

Just wanted to clear that up, and I just thought you'd be interested. Again, thanks for pointing out my error.

cowboy 5 years, 9 months ago

Any meat you buy from a grocery store is processed meat and it's not pretty how its finished and produced for you. Kept on feed lots in a disease ridden lot and pumped full of feed , supplements and antibiotics after being grown on hormones. got to wonder about that. 90/10 burger from the store is actually about 30% fat.

Buy a locally raised beef and split it up with your friends if you can't afford the whole thing , you'll be far ahead in your health and your pocketbook. Support your local farmers !

feeble 5 years, 9 months ago

cthulhu, no worries. ia ia. imo, if taxpayers pay for the study, in whole or in part, taxpayers are entitled to the finished product.

Cheers.

salad 5 years, 9 months ago

Perfectly grilled porterhouse = totally worth the risk.

RedwoodCoast 5 years, 9 months ago

Eat bison. Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones and antibiotics (within 190 days or so of slaughter), and it is generally leaner than beef. Grassfed beef is the way to go, as cows are supposed to eat a diet of grass. Modern industrial livestock production involves feeding cattle a diet of grain, which makes the cattle's guts acidic, raising the risk of infection. To counter infections, antibiotics are administered. Grain causes beef to bulk up and become fattier than it is supposed to be. Basically, conventional livestock production creates abnormal animals.

Here is another interesting food study:

http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN0838511920080409?feedType=RSS&feedName=domesticNew

HW 5 years, 9 months ago

Cowboy While I agree with the basis of your statement (I raise my or buy from neighbors the majority of my own meat and hunt the rest of it), I would have to say that all meat is processed. It is just processed differently.

Also, if you know of a store or beef plant that is selling 70/30 as 90/10, I am sure USDA or KDA would love to hear from you. I have worked in a large beef plant, and USDA is pretty tight on the fat content in trim and ground beef.

gr 5 years, 9 months ago

"The thing that bugs me about these studies is the scare tactics that people aren't suppose to eat any of it…"

Eating meat causes global warming.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.