Red meat lovers have more kidney cancer: study

Grilled meat

People who eat lots of red meat may have a higher risk of some types of kidney cancer, according to a US study of thousands of adults.

Researchers writing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that middle-aged adults who ate the most red meat were 19 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with kidney cancer than those who ate the least.

A higher intake of chemicals found in grilled or barbecued meat was also linked to increased risk of the disease.

"Our findings support the dietary recommendations for cancer prevention currently put forth by the American Cancer Society -- limit intake of red and processed meats and prepare meat by cooking methods such as baking and broiling", said lead researcher Carrie Daniel, at the US National Cancer Institute.

Previous studies examining the link between red meat and kidney cancer arrived at mixed conclusions, so Daniel and her colleagues used data from a study of close to 500,000 US adults age 50 or older to take another look at the issue.

The group was surveyed on their dietary habits, including meat consumption, and then followed for an average of nine years to track any new cancer diagnoses.

During that time, about 1,800 of them -- less than half a percent -- were diagnosed with kidney cancer.

On average, men in the study ate two to three ounces (57 to 85 grams) of red meat a day, compared to one or two ounces among women. Participants with the highest consumption of red meat -- about four ounces (113 grams) per day -- were 19 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with kidney cancer than those who ate less than one ounce per day.

That was after accounting for other aspects of diet and lifestyle that could have influenced cancer risks, including age, race, fruit and vegetable consumption, smoking and drinking and other medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

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