Higher consumption of grilled, barbecued and smoked meat may increase the mortality risk among breast cancer survivors, a new study has warned.
Researchers, including those from University of North Carolina in the US, evaluated the link between grilled or barbecued and smoked meats and the survival time after breast cancer.
High-temperature cooked meat intake is a highly prevalent source of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and other carcinogenic chemicals and has been associated with breast cancer incidence, but this study assessed whether intake is related to survival after breast cancer.
In the study population of 1508 Long Island women with breast cancer were interviewed and asked about their consumption of four types of grilled, barbecued and smoked meat.
The women were asked about their intake in each decade of life and were asked to specify the seasons in which the foods were most frequently consumed.
At the five-year follow-up, participants responded to the same questions, which asked about the time period since the original questionnaire.
Among the 1508 case women, 597 deaths were identified, 237 (39.7 per cent) of which were related to breast cancer, after a median duration of follow-up of 17.6 years.
Compared with low intake, researchers found that high intake of grilled/barbecued and smoked meat prior to diagnosis was associated with a 23 per cent increased hazard of all-cause mortality.
High vs low intake of smoked beef/lamb/pork intake was associated with a 17 per cent increased hazard of all-cause and a 23 per cent increased hazard of breast cancer-specific mortality, researchers said.
Researchers also found that lifetime grilled/barbecued and smoked meat intake and prediagnosis annual intake of grilled/barbecued beef/lamb/pork and poultry/fish were not associated with mortality.
Compared to women with low prediagnosis and low postdiagnosis intake of grilled/barbecued and smoked meat, continued high intake was associated with a 31 per cent increased hazard of all-cause mortality.
The increase in risk of death from any cause was similar in magnitude among women who reported high prediagnosis and low postdiagnosis intake of grilled/barbecued and smoked meat.
The study supports the hypothesis that high consumption of grilled, barbecued, and smoked meat may increase mortality after breast cancer.
The study appears in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.