Processed meats linked to premature death: study

2013-03-08 01:10:22 GMT2013-03-08 09:10:22(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

LONDON, March 7 (Xinhua) -- Sausages, hams, bacon and other processed meats are said to be linked to an increased risk of dying young, European researchers reported on Wednesday.

British journal BMC Medicine reported that a study with half a million participants from 10 European countries revealed links between processed meat and cardiovascular disease and cancer as chemicals used in the preservation of meat may damage health.

In nearly 13 years when participants were followed, researchers found that the risk of dying from any cause was 44 percent greater for high processed meat consumers, and rates of premature death rose with the quantity of processed meat eaten.

Researchers pointed out that high processed meat consumption led to a 72-percent higher risk of dying from heart disease, and an 11-percent higher risk of dying from cancer.

"Overall, we estimate that 3 percent of premature deaths each year could be prevented if people ate less than 20 grams of processed meat per day," said Sabine Rohrmann from the University of Zurich in Switzerland, who lead the research.

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