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Eating red, processed meats does not increase risk of CD recurrence

13 Jul 2019

The consumption of red and processed meats does not seem to affect the likelihood of symptom relapse among Crohn’s disease (CD) patients in relapse, reports a recent study.

Researchers randomly assigned adults with CD to either a high- (≥2 servings per week; n=118; median age, 37.0 years; 74.6 percent female) or low- (≤1 serving per month; n=96; median age, 35.0 years; 80 percent female) red and processed meat diet. All participants were in remission and reported consumption levels at least once weekly. The study’s primary outcome was relapse in CD, defined as an increase in CD disease activity index scores or the need for surgery or new medication.

Symptomatic relapse of CD was detected in 62 percent of the participants, while 42 percent and 35 percent had moderate-to-severe or persistent recurrence, respectively. There were no significant differences in the unadjusted time to symptomatic relapse, time to moderate-to-severe symptomatic relapse or time to persistent relapse between the different study arms.

Stratified Cox regression analysis further showed that there was no significant link between consumption of red and processed meats and the likelihood of symptomatic relapse. However, baseline nutrient intake was significantly correlated with the risk of symptomatic relapse (hazard ratio, 13.46, 95 percent CI, 1.22–148.45; p=0.03).

“In this study, participants in the low-meat group reported consuming two or more servings of red and/or processed meat far less frequently than those in the high-meat group. Additionally, the low-meat group significantly decreased their average weekly red meat consumption during the study,” said researchers.

“Despite these clear differences in diets, there were no statistically significant differences in time to relapse for any of the outcomes, suggesting that reduction of red and processed meats does not reduce the risk of symptomatic CD relapse in patients with quiescent disease,” they added.

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