08 Aug Eat Chicken, Not Red Meat For Reduced Breast Cancer Risk
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Co-First author: Jamie J. Lo, MPH
PhD student, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health
National University of Singapore, Singapore
Co-First author & Co-Senior author:
Yong-Moon (“Mark”) Park, MD, PhD
Postdoctoral fellow, Epidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health
Senior author: Dale P. Sandler, PhD
Chief, Epidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: We were interested, generally, in the association between meat consumption and breast cancer risk. Epidemiological studies of red meat consumption and risk of breast cancer are still inconsistent, although red meat has been identified as a probable carcinogen. In addition, there is not much evidence on the association between poultry consumption and breast cancer risk.
We studied around 42,000 women ages 35-74 from across the US who are enrolled in the Sister Study cohort. Women provided self-reported information on meat consumption at baseline and were followed for 7.6 years on average.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: We found that increasing consumption of red meat was associated with increased risk of invasive breast cancer: women who consumed the highest amount of red meat had a 23% higher risk compared with women who consumed the lowest amount. Conversely, increasing consumption of poultry was associated with decreased invasive breast cancer risk: women with the highest consumption had a 15% lower risk than those with the lowest consumption. Importantly our analysis suggested that breast cancer risk could be reduced if women substituted poultry for red meat.
The findings did not change when analyses controlled for confounding factors such as race, socioeconomic status, obesity, physical activity, alcohol consumption, and other food group consumption including fruits and vegetables, along with traditional breast cancer risk factors.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Increasing consumption of red meat may increase breast cancer risk, whereas increasing consumption of poultry may decrease breast cancer risk. Replacing red meat with poultry may further reduce the risk. Substituting poultry for red meat may be a simple change that can help reduce the incidence of breast cancer.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Our findings need to be replicated in other populations. Further investigation is needed to understand the possible reasons behind the protective association of poultry on breast cancer risk.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: It is important to note that our results were from an observational study and our information on meat consumption is based on self-reported information measured only at baseline. This limits us from saying that our results are definitive. But, our results do suggest that substituting poultry for red meat might be a useful strategy to reduce the incidence of breast cancer.
We have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
Jamie J. Lo, Yong‐Moon Mark Park, Rashmi Sinha, Dale P. Sandler. Association between meat consumption and risk of breast cancer: Findings from the Sister Study. International Journal of Cancer, 2019; DOI: 10.1002/ijc.32547
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