Association Between Consumption of Red and Processed Meat and Pancreatic Cancer Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

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Abstract

BACKGROUND & AIMS

The relationship between consumption of red and processed meat and pancreatic cancer risk is inconclusive. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to analyze this relationship.

METHODS

We performed a systematic search of PubMed, EMBASE, and the Web of Science to identify studies that examined associations between consumption of different kinds of meat with pancreatic cancer and were published through February 2016. By using data from these articles, we associated level of consumption with cancer risk and performed subgroup, meta-regression, and publication bias analyses.

RESULTS

We collected and analyzed data from a total of 28 studies that involved 3,143,777 participants (11,325 consumers of red meat) and 2,904,866 participants (9955 consumers of processed meat). We observed statistically significant differences between consumers and non-consumers of these meats in case-control studies (red meat,P= .02; processed meat,P< .01) but not in cohort studies (red meat,P= .09; processed meat,P= .18). In cohort studies, a 100 g/day increase in red meat consumption was associated with significant increase in risk of pancreatic cancer (P= .01); a 50 g/day increase in processed meat consumption was not associated with significant increase in risk of pancreatic cancer (P= .90). In cohort studies, we observed associations in consumption of red meat by men and pancreatic cancer (P< .01) and consumption of processed meat by men and pancreatic cancer (P< .01) but no associations for women (red meat,P= .61; processed meat,P= .88).

CONCLUSIONS

In a systematic review and meta-analysis, we found case-control but not cohort studies to associate consumption of red and processed meat with risk of pancreatic cancer. However, in cohort studies, consumption of red and processed meat appeared to increase risk of pancreatic cancer in men but not in women.

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