Risk of cardiovascular disease, high death in processed meat consumers: study

Findings from a recent global study led by Hamilton scientists found a link between an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and consumption of processed meat. However, the same study did not find the same link with raw red meat or poultry.

The information comes from the diets and health outcomes of 1,34,297 people from 21 countries across five continents, who were tracked by researchers for data on meat consumption and cardiovascular disease.

After following the participants for nearly a decade, the researchers found that consuming 150 grams or more of processed meat per week was associated with a 46% higher risk of cardiovascular disease and a 51% higher risk of death than those who did not consume processed foods. meat.

However, the researchers also found that moderate levels of unprocessed meat consumption had a neutral effect on health.

“The evidence for an association between meat intake and cardiovascular disease is inconsistent. Therefore, we wanted to better understand the associations between raw red meat, poultry, and processed meat intake with major cardiovascular disease events and mortality, “said Romaina Iqbal, first author of the study and associate professor at Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan.

“The totality of available data indicates that consuming a modest amount of raw meat as part of a healthy dietary pattern is unlikely to be harmful,” said Mahshid Dehghan, a researcher at the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) at McMaster University and Hamilton. Health Sciences.

The Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study was launched in 2003 and is the first multinational study to provide information on the association between the intake of processed and unprocessed meat with health outcomes in low-, middle- and high-income countries.

“The PURE study examines substantially more diverse populations and overall diet patterns, allowing us to provide new evidence distinguishing between the effects of processed and unprocessed meats,” said lead author Salim Yusuf, CEO of PHRI.

The dietary habits of the participants were recorded using food frequency questionnaires, while data on their mortality and major cardiovascular disease events were also collected. This allowed the researchers to determine the associations between meat consumption patterns and cardiovascular disease events and mortality.

The authors believe that further research may improve the current understanding of the relationship between meat consumption and health outcomes. For example, it is unclear what study participants ate with the lowest intake of meat rather than meat, and whether the quality of those foods differed between countries.

Non-meat substitutes may have implications for further interpretation of associations between meat consumption and health outcomes. However, the study authors believe their findings “indicate that limiting your intake of processed meat should be encouraged.”

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