Red, processed meat intake tied to shorter survival in colorectal cancer
Eating high amounts of red and processed meat prior to a diagnosis of colorectal cancer (CRC) appears to be associated with shorter survival time, although a possible weak association cannot be excluded, a study has shown.
Researchers included 7,627 patients with stage I-IV CRC from 10 studies in the International Survival Analysis in Colorectal Cancer Consortium. They performed Cox proportional hazards regression analysis to evaluate the associations of intake of red and processed meat before diagnosis with overall and CRC-specific survival.
A total of 2,338 patients died over a median follow-up time of 5.1 years, among whom 1,576 had CRC-specific deaths.
In multivariable-adjusted analyses, higher intake level of red or processed meat showed no association with overall survival of patients with stage I–III CRC (Q4 vs Q1 red meat intake: hazard ratio [HR], 1.08; 95 percent CI, 0.93–1.26; Q4 vs Q1 processed meat intake: HR, 1.10; 0.93–1.32) or with CRC-specific survival (Q4 vs Q1 red meat intake: HR, 1.09; 0.89–1.33; Q4 vs Q1 processed meat intake: HR, 1.11; 0.87–1.42). Results were similar for patients with stage IV CRC.
On the other hand, the risk of death from any cause in patients with stage I–III CRC proved to be higher among those who reported an intake of processed meat above the study-specific medians vs those who reported eating at or less than the median (HR, 1.12; 1.01–1.25).
Researchers underscored a need for more studies evaluating dietary data from several time points before and after cancer diagnosis to confirm the present findings.