Red meat and risk of stroke.
Article Type: Report
Subject: Meat (Health aspects)
Meat (Reports)
Stroke (Disease) (Risk factors)
Stroke (Disease) (Demographic aspects)
Stroke (Disease) (Reports)
Food habits (Demographic aspects)
Food habits (Reports)
Author: Murphy, Kathleen
Pub Date: 12/22/2011
Publication: Name: Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism Publisher: National Herbalists Association of Australia Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 National Herbalists Association of Australia ISSN: 1033-8330
Issue: Date: Winter, 2011 Source Volume: 23 Source Issue: 4
Product: Product Code: 2010010 Meat Incl Poultry; 2010000 Meat Products NAICS Code: 31161 Animal Slaughtering and Processing SIC Code: 2011 Meat packing plants; 2013 Sausages and other prepared meats; 2015 Poultry slaughtering and processing
Geographic: Geographic Scope: Sweden Geographic Code: 4EUSW Sweden
Accession Number: 275312606
Full Text: Larsson S, Virtamo J, Wolk A. 2011. Red meat consumption and risk of stroke in Swedish men. Am J Clin Nutr 94 (2) 417-21.

Reduced consumption of red meat and avoidance of processed meat is often recommended as a way to improve health and lower the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer. Recent evidence has indicated that high consumption of red meat, particularly processed meat, may be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and metabolic conditions.

This prospective population based study aimed to investigate the associations of fresh red meat and processed meat consumption with stroke incidence in a large prospective cohort over an 11 year period. It involved 40 291 Swedish men aged 45-79 years. Information on education, body weight, height, smoking status and history, physical activity, aspirin use, history of diabetes and hypertension, family history of myocardial infarction before age 60 years, alcohol consumption and diet was obtained using a self administered questionnaire. Diet was assessed with a 96 item food frequency questionnaire. Participants were asked to indicate how often on average they had consumed various foods over the past year. Incident cases of first stroke that occurred over the 11 year study period were ascertained by linkage of the study cohort with the Swedish Hospital Discharge Registry, providing virtually complete coverage.

High consumption of red meat, fresh red meat, and processed meat was associated with higher intakes of total energy, alcohol, monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, fish, fruit, vegetables, whole grains and dairy foods. Men with a high consumption of total red meat and processed meat were less likely to have a university education and had a slightly higher body mass index (BMI) than men with low consumption.

Consumption of fresh red meat was not associated with total stroke or any stroke subtype. Processed meat consumption was associated with risk of total stroke (P<0.004) and cerebral infarction (P<0.03) but not hemorrhagic stroke after adjustment for other risk factors.

Sodium found in processed meats may explain the observed positive association between processed meat consumption and risk of total stroke and cerebral infarction. Red meat is a major source of bioavailable heme iron. Elevated iron stores may cause oxidative injury and have been associated with inflammation, insulin resistance, the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

In this prospective cohort of men, consumption of processed meat, but not of fresh red meat, was significantly associated with risk of stroke. The risk of stroke increased by 8% for every 50 g/d increase of processed meat consumed.

Kathleen Murphy MNHAA
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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