Red meat and poultry intakes and risk of total and cause-specific mortality: results from cohort studies of Chinese adults in Shanghai.
PLoS One. 2013 ;8(2):e56963. Epub 2013 Feb 22. PMID: 23451121
Most previous studies of meat intake and total or cause-specific mortality were conducted in North America, whereas studies in other areas have been limited and reported inconsistent results. This study investigated the association of red meat or poultry intake with risk of total and cause-specific mortality, including cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD), in two large population-based prospective cohort studies of 134,290 Chinese adult women and men in Shanghai. Meat intakes were assessed through validated food frequency questionnaires administered in person at baseline. Vital status and dates and causes of deaths were ascertained through annual linkage to the Shanghai Vital Statistics Registry and Shanghai Cancer Registry databases and home visits every 2-3 years. Cox regression was used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the risk of death associated with quintiles of meat intake. During 803,265 person-years of follow up for women and 334,281 person-years of follow up for men, a total of 4,210 deaths in women and 2,733 deaths in men accrued. The median intakes of red meat were 43 g/day among women and 54 g/day among men, and pork constituted at least 95% of total meat intake for both women and men. Red meat intake was associated with increased total mortality among men, but not among women; the HR (95% CI) comparing the highest with the lowest quintiles were 1.18 (1.02-1.35) and 0.92 (0.82-1.03), respectively. This sex difference was statistically significant (P = 0.01). Red meat intake was associated with increased risk of ischemic heart disease mortality (HR = 1.41, 95% CI = 1.05-1.89) and with decreased risk of hemorrhagic stroke mortality (HR = 0.62, 95% CI = 0.45-0.87). There were suggestive inverse associations of poultry intake with risk of total and all-CVD mortality among men, but not among women. Further investigations are needed to elucidate the sex-specific associations between red meat intake and mortality.