Associations of Processed Meat, Unprocessed Red Meat, Poultry, or Fish Intake With Incident Cardiovascular Disease and All-Cause Mortality

1. Findings from this cohort study suggest that diets including processed meat, unprocessed, or poultry have significant associations with incidence of cardiovascular disease while fish do not

2. Processed meats and unprocessed red meats have significant association with all-cause mortality while poultry and fish did not

Evidence Rating: 2 (Good)

The concept of lifestyle modifications as first line therapy for prevention for cardiovascular disease (CVD) has long been an established norm in medicine. While positive associations have been established between processed meats, CVD, and mortality, the association between unprocessed red meat, poultry, or fish intake with these outcomes remains uncertain.. In this cohort study consisting of data from 6 prospective cohort study of US adults, investigators sought to address this knowledge gap and examine the relationship between poultry, unprocessed red meat, and fish consumption with all-cause mortality and CVD incidence. The intake data of 29,682 participants were collected between 1985 to 2002 with follow up until August 31, 2016. Regular consumption of processed red meat (adjusted HR, 1.07 [95% CI, 1.04-1.11]), unprocessed red meat (adjusted HR 1.03, [95% CI, 1.01-1.06]), or poultry (adjusted HR, 1.04 [95% CI, 1.01-1.06]) were significantly associated with incident CVD while fish intake was not (adjusted HR, 1.00 [95% CI, 0.98-1.02]). Similarly, intake of processed meat (adjusted HR, 1.03 [95% CI, 1.02-1.05]) or unprocessed red meat (adjusted HR 1.03 [95% CI, 1.01-1.05]) was associated with significantly increased all-cause mortality while poultry and fish consumption was not. Although the observed effect sizes were small, the potential impacts on public health can be large as these findings continue to support the notion that minute lifestyle modifications can surmount to significant impacts on individual health outcomes.

Click to read the study in JAMA Internal Medicine

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