Campus & Community

Risk of breast cancer may be associated with red meat consumption

1 min read

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) have found that eating more red meat may be associated with a higher risk for hormone receptor–positive breast cancers in premenopausal women. This research is published in the Nov. 13 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

“This study suggests that dietary factors may be related to a woman’s chance of developing this type of breast cancer, a disease that is on the rise in American women,” said lead author, Eunyoung Cho, a researcher at BWH.

Hormone receptor-positive breast cancers are characterized by tumors in which growth is stimulated by the levels of estrogen (ER+) or progesterone (PR+) circulating in the body. Previous studies that have examined the association between breast cancer and red meat assessed diet in midlife or later, did not distinguish by hormone receptor status, and are largely inconclusive.

In this study, researchers evaluated the association between breast cancer and red meat consumption in 90,659 female nurses aged 26 to 46 who are part of the Nurses’ Health Study II. The researchers followed the participants from 1991 through 2003, and gathered data on red meat consumption and breast cancer development.