Red meat may increase risk of lung cancer

A piece of beef on a forkA diet high in red meat may increase the risk of developing lung cancer, according to a meta-analysis of data from several studies.

Carried out by researchers at the Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine in Shanghai and published in the journal Annals of Oncology, the analysis found that study participants who ate the most red meat were more than a third more likely to get lung cancer.

Men and women who consumed the most red meat were respectively 35 and 34 per cent more at risk of the disease than those who consumed least.

23 case-control studies and 11 cohort studies were included in the analysis. Adjustments were made where participants were smokers or non-smokers.

“The relationship between meat-intake and lung cancer risk appears to depend on the types of meat consumed. A high intake of red meat may increase the risk of lung cancer by about 35 per cent,” said lead author W.S. Yang.

High consumption of red and processed meat has already been associated with a number of cancers, including bowel, colorectal and oesophageal cancer.

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