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Diet containing processed meat may heighten breast cancer risk in middle-aged women

Eating 9g of processed meat per week in middle age may increase women’s breast cancer risk by one fifth


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Eating 9g of processed meat per week in middle age may increase women’s breast cancer risk by one fifth

Middle-aged women who eat 9g of processed meat a week may be at greater risk of developing breast cancer than those who consume none.

University of Glasgow researchers found women eating the equivalent of three rashers of bacon may be a fifth more likely to develop the disease.

Even low-level consumption may increase risk

The study looked at 262,195 British women and showed even those who ate less than 9g were more likely to develop breast cancer than those who ate none.

The results were from UK Biobank, a general population cohort study of participants aged 40-60 between 2007 and 2010.

Dietary information was collected by questionnaire and breast cancer cases were found via links to hospital admission, cancer registry and death certificate data.

Over a median of seven years’ follow-up, 4,819 women had developed breast cancer, researchers concluding a diet containing processed meat may increase risk.


Anderson J et al (2017) Red and processed meat consumption and breast cancer: UK Biobank cohort study and meta-analysis. European Journal of Cancer. doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2017.11.022.

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