(Reuters) - A diet containing lots of processed
meats, like hot dogs and sausages, raises the risk
of pancreatic cancer, according to a large
The researchers found that
heavy consumers of processed meats -- 40 grams a
day or more -- were 67 percent more likely to
develop cancer of the pancreas than study
participants with the lowest intake.
In addition, a diet rich in
pork and red meat -- 70 grams a day or more -- also
increased pancreatic cancer risk by about 50
percent, according to the survey-based study.
But the American Meat
Institute disputed the findings, pointing out that
a study published earlier this week in the Journal
of the National Cancer Institute reached an
"The most important fact is
that the larger body of evidence has shown that
processed meats are a healthy part of a balanced
diet," the trade group said in a statement.
Dr. Ute Nothlings, the
study's lead investigator from the Cancer Research
Center at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu,
said "the results suggest that carcinogenic
substances related to meat preparation, rather than
their inherent fat or cholesterol content, might be
She noted, however, that the
study did not examine cooking methods and her team
is now working to collect that data.
This seven-year study
examined the relationship between diet and
pancreatic cancer in 190,545 men and women of
African-American, Japanese-American, Caucasian,
Latino and Native Hawaiian descent.
"An analysis of fat and
saturated fat intake showed a significant increase
in risk for fats from meat, but not from dairy
products, indicating that fat and saturated fat are
not likely to contribute to the underlying
carcinogenic mechanism," Nothlings said.
She suggested that chemical
reactions that occur during the preparation of
processed meats might be responsible for the
The results were reported a
meeting of the American Association for Cancer
Research in Anaheim, California.