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Research Article

A Prospective Study of Red and Processed Meat Intake in Relation to Cancer Risk

  • Amanda J Cross mail,

    To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: crossa@mail.nih.gov

    Affiliation: Nutritional Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, Maryland, United States of America

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  • Michael F Leitzmann,

    Affiliation: Nutritional Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, Maryland, United States of America

    X
  • Mitchell H Gail,

    Affiliation: Biostatistics Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, Maryland, United States of America

    X
  • Albert R Hollenbeck,

    Affiliation: AARP, Washington DC, United States of America

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  • Arthur Schatzkin,

    Affiliation: Nutritional Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, Maryland, United States of America

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  • Rashmi Sinha

    Affiliation: Nutritional Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, Maryland, United States of America

    X
  • Published: December 11, 2007
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0040325

Reader Comments (10)

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Breakdown by Gender; correction for fruit and vegetable intake

Posted by plosmedicine on 31 Mar 2009 at 00:18 GMT

Author: Frank Hummer
Position: Mathematician
E-mail: frankhummer113@hotmail.com
Submitted Date: January 07, 2008
Published Date: January 8, 2008
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

The authors describe their corrections for the effects of some confounding factors, but I don't see a correction for fruit and vegetable intake. It is mentioned in the text that fruit and vegetable intake decreased with increase in meat consumption, but I would be interested in seeing the statistics following a correction for this factor.
Also, a breakdown of the results by gender would be revealing. The trends for the women seem very different from those for the men, with women seeming to get almost a protective effect from eating red meat for nearly all of the cancers. These trends disappear when the women's results are pooled with the men's results, partly because men outnumber women in the study by nearly 50%, and also because the overall incidence of cancer in the men is higher. Connected with this observation is the fact that the women in each meat-consumption quintile ate more fruits and vegetables than did the men in the corresponding quintiles. For example, the combined fruit and vegetable servings for the women in Q5 were the same as the combined fruit and vegetable servings for the men in Q5.

No competing interests declared.