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Cohort study
Higher red meat consumption is associated with increased risk of all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality
  1. Amanda J Cross
  1. National Cancer Institute, Rockville, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to: Amanda Cross
    National Cancer Institute, 6120 Executive Blvd, Rockville, MD 20852, USA; crossa{at}

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Commentary on: Pan A, Sun Q, Bernstein AM, et al. Red meat consumption and mortality: results from 2 prospective cohort studies. Arch Intern Med 2012;172:555–63.

Implications for practice and research

  • Red meat intake has been associated with increased incidence of several chronic diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.1–3

  • In this study, both unprocessed and processed red meat intake were associated with an increased risk of total and cause-specific mortality; approximately 9% of deaths in men and 8% in women could be prevented if individuals consumed <42 g/day of red meat.


A Westernised dietary pattern is characterised by high intake of saturated fat, red and processed meats, and a low intake of fruits, vegetables and fibre. In the US, red and processed meat intake has been associated with an …

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  • Competing interests None.