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Endometrial cancer and meat consumption: a case–cohort study

van Lonkhuijzen, Luca,b; Kirsh, Victoria A.b,c; Kreiger, Nancyb,c; Rohan, Thomas E.d

European Journal of Cancer Prevention: July 2011 - Volume 20 - Issue 4 - p 334–339
doi: 10.1097/CEJ.0b013e328344747c
Research Papers: Gastroenterological cancer

Diet plays an important role in the etiology of certain cancers, but there is limited evidence with regard to the association between diet and risk of endometrial cancer. Few prospective studies have investigated meat intake as a potential determinant of endometrial cancer risk. The objective of this study was to examine the association between endometrial cancer risk and total meat, red meat, processed meat, fish, and poultry intake. We conducted a case–cohort analysis within the Canadian Study of Diet, Lifestyle, and Health, a prospective cohort of 73 909 adults (39 614 women). Participants were recruited from 1992 to 1999, predominantly from three Canadian universities. We conducted a linkage with the Ontario Cancer Registry for the years 1992–2007 for the female cohort members, who resided in Ontario at the time of enrollment (n=26 024), to yield data on cancer incidence. The analytic sample was comprised of 107 incident cases and 1830 subcohort members, the latter being an age-stratified sample of the full cohort. A nonsignificant increase in the risk of endometrial cancer was associated with increased consumption of red meat [hazard ratio (HR)=1.62, 95% confidence intervals (CI)=0.86–3.08, for high vs. low intake; Ptrend=0.13)], processed meat (HR=1.45, 95% CI=0.80–2.61, for high vs. low intake; Ptrend=0.058), and all meat combined (HR=1.50, 95% CI=0.78–2.89, for high vs. low intake; Ptrend=0.14). No clear patterns were noted for poultry or fish. The results of this study, although based on a limited number of cases, suggest that relatively high meat intake may be associated with increased risk of endometrial cancer.

aDepartment of Gynecologic Oncology

bDalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

cPopulation Studies and Surveillance, Cancer Care Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

dDepartment of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, USA

Correspondence to Victoria A. Kirsh, University of Toronto, 620 University Avenue Toronto, Ontario M5G 2L7, Canada Tel: +416 971 9800; fax: +416 971 6888; e-mail:

Received October 4, 2010

Accepted December 29, 2010

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.