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World J Gastroenterol. Feb 21, 2013; 19(7): 1020-1029
Published online Feb 21, 2013. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v19.i7.1020
Consumption of red and processed meat and esophageal cancer risk: Meta-analysis
Yuni Choi, Sujin Song, Yoonju Song, Jung Eun Lee
Yuni Choi, Jung Eun Lee, Department of Food and Nutrition, Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul 140-742, South Korea
Sujin Song, Department of Food and Nutrition, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, South Korea
Yoonju Song, School of Human Ecology, Catholic University of Korea, Bucheon, Gyeonggi Do 420-743, South Korea
Author contributions: Choi Y and Lee JE designed the study; Choi Y drafted the manuscript and conducted data analysis; Choi Y, Song S and Lee JE contributed to the selection of studies and data extraction, and the interpretation of the results; all authors critically reviewed the manuscript and gave final approval of the version to be published.
Supported by The Sookmyung Women’s University Research Grant (2012)
Correspondence to: Dr. Jung Eun Lee, Department of Food and Nutrition, Sookmyung Women’s University, 52 Hyochangwon-gil, Youngsan-gu, Seoul 140-742, South Korea.
Telephone: +82-2-20777560 Fax: +82-2-7109479
Received: September 19, 2012
Revised: November 19, 2012
Accepted: December 5, 2012
Published online: February 21, 2013

To summarize the evidence about the association between red and processed meat intake and the risk of esophageal cancer, we systematically searched the PubMed and EMBASE databases up to May 2012, with a restriction to English publications, and the references of the retrieved articles. We combined the study-specific relative risks (RRs) and 95%CI, comparing the highest with the lowest categories of consumption by using a random-effects model. A total of 4 cohort studies and 23 case-control studies were included in the meta-analysis. The combined RRs (95%CI) of the cohort studies comparing the highest and lowest categories were 1.26 (1.00-1.59) for red meat and 1.25 (0.83-1.86) for processed meat. For the case-control studies, the combined RRs (95%CI) comparing the highest and lowest categories were 1.44 (1.16-1.80) for red meat and 1.36 (1.07-1.74) for processed meat. Findings from this meta-analysis suggest that a higher consumption of red meat was associated with a greater risk of esophageal cancer.

Keywords: Cohort study, Case-control study, Meta-analysis, Red meat, Processed meat, Esophageal cancer