Evaluating the Relationship of meat & cancer

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The potential role that red meat or processed meat intake plays on cancer risk has been widely debated in scientific communities. To update the state-of-the-science on this complex topic area, we conducted a systematic quantitative assessment of the epidemiologic literature. Data from 27 independent prospective cohort studies were meta-analyzed using random-effects models, and sources of potential heterogeneity were examined through subgroup and sensitivity analyses. A comprehensive examination of potential dose-response trends was performed as well. Based on our series of meta-analyses, we observed a weakly elevated summary relative risk for all studies of red meat; however, statistically significant heterogeneity was present. Sources of variation included the type of meat analyzed, gender, adjustment for confounding factors, and study country. No clear patterns of dose-response were apparent and most individual studies did not observe statistically significant findings. Associations for processed meat and colorectal cancer are slightly stronger in magnitude and consistency than for fresh red meat. In conclusion, the currently available epidemiologic data are not sufficient to support an independent relationship between red meat and processed meat consumption and colorectal cancer.

Dominik D. Alexander, PhD, MSPH
Principal Epidemiologist
EpidStat Institute

Dr. Alexander, PhD, MSPH, has extensive experience in health research methodology, meta-analysis, and disease causation, particularly in the conceptualization, design, analysis, and interpretation of epidemiologic studies. He has published on a diverse range of topics and types of studies, including original epidemiologic research, qualitative reviews, systematic weight-of-evidence assessments, and quantitative meta-analyses. Because of his expertise in research methodology, Dr. Alexander has served as principal investigator on numerous projects involving a wide variety of exposures and health outcomes. His research areas include: occupational and environmental exposures, such as asbestos, benzene, trichloroethylene, solvents, pesticides, arsenic, and dioxin; community health studies and cluster investigations involving air, water, and soil exposures; clinical, pharmacoepidemiology, and medical device studies including clinical trial design and support. In addition, Dr. Alexander has extensive experience in nutritional epidemiology and has conducted systematic reviews and meta-analyses of dietary and nutritional factors and cancer, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and body composition. His work in this area has involved studies of dietary patterns, intake of whole foods, and dietary supplements, such as meat and fat intake, dairy and egg consumption, breakfast eating, multivitamin and mineral supplements, fish oil, caffeine, and infant formula. Dr. Alexander has over 170 peer-reviewed manuscripts, professional presentations, abstracts, and book chapters. He frequently presents on the understanding and interpretation of epidemiologic evidence in a variety of professional venues, such as national conventions, scientific conferences, and governmental regulatory forums. Dr. Alexander serves on the editorial board of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. In addition, he regularly serves on scientific committees and scientific advisory meetings. Dr. Alexander was awarded a National Cancer Institute Fellowship for Cancer Prevention and Control and was the 2010 recipient of the UAB School of Public Health alumnus award for scientific excellence, based on recognition of his "significant scientific contributions through demonstrated commitment and exemplary leadership in empirical research, research methodology, or theory building or adaptation."

***Original Source: "2016 CNS Annual Conference", Saturday, May 7, 2016

Length: 28:08

Type: Video

Last Updated: May 30, 2016

Name Type
Evaluating the Relationship of meat & cancer Video
Red Meat and Cancer Risk: Interpreting the Evidence File
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