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Grilled and smoked meat consumption associated with greater mortality risk in breast cancer survivors over 17.6 year median follow-up period

January 06 2017. A study reported in the JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute found a greater risk of dying over a median 17.6 years of follow-up among female breast cancersurvivors who had a higher intake of grilled, barbecued, and smoked meat in comparison with those who consumed lower amounts.

The current study included 1,508 women diagnosed with breast cancer. Interviews conducted during 1996-1997 and five years later obtained information concerning the intake of grilled, barbequed and smoked meat. Five hundred ninety-seven deaths occurred during a median 17.6 year period, including 237 deaths associated with breast cancer. In comparison with an intake below the median, having a higher intake of the meats prior to diagnosis was associated with a 23% greater risk of dying from any cause. For women who continued to consume higher amounts of grilled, barbecued and smoked meat after diagnosis, the risk of all-cause mortality was 31% higher than those whose intake was lower.

Meat cooked at high temperatures contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and other compounds associated with breast cancer risk. The study is the first to examine whether the intake of this source of PAH influences survival in women diagnosed with breast cancer.

“High intake of grilled/barbecued and smoked meat may increase mortality after breast cancer. may increase the mortality risk among breast cancer survivors,” authors Humberto Parada, Jr, MPH, of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and colleagues conclude.