Several studies have established the association between processed meat intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and all-cause mortality. However, the risk of CVD and mortality associated with the consumption of unprocessed red meat, poultry, and fish is still not known. This study aims to recognize the associations between the risk of CVD and mortality associated with the intake of processed meat, unprocessed red meat, poultry, and fish intake.
This cohort study included a total of 23,682 participants (mean age 53.7) from 6 prospective cohort studies. The participants were differentiated on the bases of intake of processed meat, unprocessed red meat, poultry, or fish as constant variables. The primary outcome of the study was the incidence of CVD and all-cause mortality measured using hazard ratios (HR).
During the median follow-up of 19.0 years, 6,963 incident CVD events and 8,875 all-cause deaths occurred. When associated with the intake of processed meat, unprocessed red meat, poultry, and fish, only processed meat intake and incident CVD showed nonmonotonic associations. The rest exhibited a monotonic (nonlinearity greater than or equal to 0.25). The hazard ratios for all types of intakes except fish intake were between 1.0 and 1.10. The HR for fish intake was 1.0.
The research concluded that higher consumption of processed meat, unprocessed meat, and poultry was associated with an increased risk of CVD and death, but not fish.