HealthDay News — Among U.S. adults, intake of processed meat, unprocessed red meat, and poultry, but not fish, is associated with an increased risk for incident cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a study published online Feb. 3 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Victor W. Zhong, Ph.D., from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and colleagues analyzed individual-level data of adult participants from six prospective cohort studies to examine the associations of processed meat, unprocessed red meat, poultry, or fish intake with incident CVD and all-cause mortality.

The researchers identified 6,963 incident CVD events and 8,875 all-cause deaths during a median follow-up of 19.0 years among the 29,682 participants. There were monotonic associations seen for processed meat, unprocessed red meat, poultry, or fish intake with incident CVD and all-cause mortality, except for the association between processed meat intake and incident CVD, which was nonmonotonic. Significant associations were seen for processed meat, unprocessed red meat, or poultry with incident CVD (adjusted hazard ratios, 1.07, 1.03, and 1.04, respectively); there was no significant association noted for fish intake. Significant associations were seen for intake of processed meat or unprocessed red meat with all-cause mortality (adjusted hazard ratios, 1.03 and 1.03, respectively); no significant associations were seen for intake of poultry or fish.

“Modifying intake of these animal protein foods may be an important strategy to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death at a population level,” Zhong said in a statement.


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One author disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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