ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
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Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Acupuncture Eases Side Effects of Head, Neck Cancer Treatments
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
ANIMAL CARE
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Beware of Dog Bites
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
Stem Cells Might Treat Tough Fractures
CANCER
Tanning Beds Shown To Raise Cancer Risk, Study Says
Supplement Hampers Thyroid Cancer Treatment
Selenium, Omega-3s May Stave Off Colorectal Cancer
CAREGIVING
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Many Hospital Patients Can't ID Their Doctors
U.S. Mental Health Spending Rises, But Many Still Left Out
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
DIABETES
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
DIET, NUTRITION
Vitamin D Vital for the Heart
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
'Soda Tax' Wins Health Experts' Support
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Hypertension May Hit Black Males Earlier
Chemicals in Carpets, Non-Stick Pans Tied to Thyroid Disease
Freckles, Moles May Indicate Risk for Eye Cancer
EYE CARE, VISION
Autistic Children Make Limited Eye Contact
Magnetic Pulses to Brain Improve Lazy Eye in Adults
Green Tea May Ward Off Eye Disease
FITNESS
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Weak Muscles May Cause 'Runner's Knee'
Exercise Guards White Blood Cells Against Aging
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
Spot light on Dani Antman New Lionheart teacher
Week of Historic Senate Hearings on Integrative Medicine May Open New Doors
FDA Bans Unapproved Prescription Cough, Cold and Allergy Meds
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Irregular Heartbeat Tied to Alzheimer's Disease
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Help Your Kids Stay Active
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
MEN'S HEALTH
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Music Soothes Anxiety as Well as Massage Does
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
SENIORS
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Exercise Benefits Even the Oldest Old
Seniors Cope With Sleep Loss Better Than Young Adults
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
Add your Article

Too Much Red Meat May Shorten Life Span

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, March 23 (HealthDay News) -- Diets high in red meat and in processed meat shorten life span not just from cancer and heart disease but from Alzheimer's, stomach ulcers and an array of other conditions as well, a U.S. National Cancer Institute study has found.

In fact, reducing meat consumption to the amount eaten by the bottom 20 percent seen in the study would save 11 percent of men's lives and 16 percent of women's, according to the study.

"The consumption of red meat was associated with a modest increase in total mortality," said Rashmi Sinha, lead author of the study in the March 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

"This fits together with the findings of the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Cancer Society, which recommend limiting the consumption of red meat," added Sinha, who is a senior investigator with the nutrition epidemiological branch in the cancer epidemiology and genetics division at the Cancer Institute. "This is something new in the sense of mortality."

Previous studies of red meat had mostly found an association with cancer incidence. The authors pointed out that many pooled studies had been conducted by vegetarian groups.

Last year, U.S. National Cancer Institute researchers reported that a quarter-pound hamburger or a small pork chop eaten daily could put you at increased risk for a variety of cancers. The message from the latest study echoes that finding: The more red meat and processed meat you eat, the greater your risk for dying of cancer.

But the American Meat Institute objected to the conclusion, saying in a statement that the study relied on "notoriously unreliable self-reporting about what was eaten in the preceding five years. This imprecise approach is like relying on consumers' personal characterization of their driving habits in prior years in determining their likelihood of having an accident in the future."

"Meat is an excellent source of zinc, iron, B12 and other essential vitamins and minerals," the statement continued. "The U.S. Dietary Guidelines say to eat a balanced diet that includes lean meat. In this way, you derive a wide array of nutrients from many different sources. It's the best return on a nutritional investment you can get."

Dr. Michael Thun, vice president emeritus of epidemiology and surveillance research at the American Cancer Society, however, said the study's findings "support previous studies and also support the American Cancer Society nutrition guidelines."

Those guidelines include choosing fish, poultry or beans instead of beef, pork and lamb; choosing leaner cuts of meat; and baking, broiling or poaching meat rather than frying or charbroiling it.

For the study, the researchers looked at what more than a half-million people, ages 50 to 71, were eating over the span of a decade. Participants tended to be white and educated with fewer smokers and more vegetable-and-fruit eaters than in the general population. During that time, more than 71,000 people died.

Men and women eating the highest amount of red meat were found to have a 31 percent and 36 percent, respectively, higher risk of dying from any cause than those eating the least amount.

Women eating the most processed meat were 25 percent more likely to die early than those eating the least of this type of meat, while men had a 16 percent increased risk, the study found.

Causes of death for those in the study included diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, ulcers, pneumonia, influenza, liver disease, HIV, tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and more.

Dying from cancer also was more likely among those eating the most red meat: 22 percent higher for men, 20 percent for women. The risk for death from cancer increased 12 percent for men and 11 percent for women who ate the greatest amount of processed meat.

Similarly, the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease was higher by 27 percent for men and 50 percent for women; for processed red meat, the risk was 9 percent higher for men and 38 percent higher for women.

However, people who ate the most white meat showed a lower risk of dying.

The authors also noted a 24 percent higher risk of dying from heart problems among men who had never smoked and who ate more white meat. Women faced a 20 percent higher risk.

Meat contains many carcinogens as well as saturated fat, which might explain the increased mortality risk, the authors stated.

Dr. Jay Brooks, chairman of hematology/oncology at Ochsner Health System in Baton Rouge, La., described the study's findings as "provocative."

"The question is how much of it is the meat and how much is the extra calories," Brooks said. "Calories per se are a strong determinant for death from cancer and heart disease. This should make us think about our calorie intake."

More information

The American Dietetic Association has more on healthy eating.



SOURCES: Rashmi Sinha, Ph.D., senior investigator, nutrition epidemiological branch, division of cancer epidemiology and genetics, U.S. National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md.; Michael Thun, M.D., vice president emeritus, epidemiology and surveillance research, American Cancer Society, Atlanta; Jay Brooks, M.D., chairman, hematology/oncology, Ochsner Health System, Baton Rouge, La.; March 23, 2009, statement, American Meat Institute, Washington, D.C.; March 23, 2009, Archives of Internal Medicine

Last Updated: March 23, 2009

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