Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Monday, January 17, 2005

Does Eating Too Much Red Meat Cause Cancer?

The answer from Canstats is "maybe". The MSM [main-stream media] were full of reports during the past week about a recent JlAmMedAssn study on red meat ingestion and colo-rectal cancer. Here is a better presentation of the results:
It is true that the initial analysis of the data indicated a
significant positive association between high consumption of red meat and the risk of cancer of all parts of the colon (large intestine). But what the news writers didn't point out is that when other factors that could influence the appearance of colon cancer were taken into account, the association with high red meat consumption was no longer significant. These other factors included body mass index, cigarette smoking, physical activity, aspirin use, and alcohol consumption.

So does that mean there's nothing to the story of a connection between red meat and colorectal cancer? Not quite. The researchers did find a significant link between high red meat consumption and cancer of the distal colon (the part closest to the rectum) in people who reported the highest consumption in both 1982 and 1992 and 93: the risk was increased by 50%. In addition, people who had the highest intake of red meat in only the later questionnaires had a 70% increased risk of developing rectal cancer.

The report continues that "high intake" of red meat could be taken to mean 2 pounds/wk for men and 1.5 pounds/wk for women, which is well-below what most people eat.

Geez, that's only 4 double quarter-pounders per week!
I guess I'll have to cut back on those. 8-(
Thanks to BenS for the pointer.
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