Red and processed meat consumption and gastric cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Zhanwei Zhao, Zifang Yin and Qingchuan Zhao _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:30563-30575. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.15699

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Zhanwei Zhao1, Zifang Yin2 and Qingchuan Zhao1

1 Xijing Hospital of Digestive Diseases, The Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, China

2 Department of Obstetrics, Northwestern Women and Children’s Hospital, Shaanxi, China

Correspondence to:

Qingchuan Zhao, email:

Keywords: diet; gastric cancer; red meat; processed meat; meta-analysis

Received: December 02, 2016 Accepted: February 07, 2017 Published: February 25, 2017


The associations between red and processed meat consumption and gastric cancer risk have remained inconclusive. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to analyze these associations. We searched PubMed and EMBASE to identify studies published from inception through October 2016. Subtype analyses of gastric cancer (gastric cardia adenocarcinoma and gastric non-cardiac adenocarcinoma) and dose-response analyses were performed. We finally selected 42 eligible studies. The summary relative risks of highest versus lowest consumption were positive for case-control studies with 1.67 (1.36-2.05) for red meat and 1.76 (1.51-2.05) for processed meat, but negative for cohort studies with 1.14 (0.97-1.34) for red meat and 1.23 (0.98-1.55) for processed meat. Subtype analyses of cohort studies suggested null results for gastric cardia adenocarcinoma (red meat, P = 0.79; processed meat, P = 0.89) and gastric non-cardiac adenocarcinoma (red meat, P = 0.12; processed meat, P = 0.12). In conclusion, the present analysis suggested null results between red and processed meat consumption and gastric cancer risk in cohort studies, although case-control studies yielded positive associations. Further well-designed prospective studies are needed to validate these findings.

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