High intakes of unprocessed red or processed meat may increase the risk of stroke. We aimed to examine the association between unprocessed red meat, processed meat and total red meat consumption and risk of total stroke and ischaemic stroke.
Cox proportional hazards regression analyses were conducted based on the data for 41 020 men and women aged 29–69 years at baseline.
During a mean follow-up of 13.8 years, 674 incident cases of stroke (531 ischaemic strokes, 79 haemorrhagic strokes, 42 subarachnoid haemorrhages and 22 mixed or unspecified events) were identified. After multiple adjustment, unprocessed red meat, processed meat and total red meat consumption were not correlated with incidence of total stroke or ischaemic stroke in either men or women. The hazard ratios (HRs) for unprocessed red meat and processed meat and risk of total stroke comparing the highest with the lowest quintiles were, respectively, 0.81 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.54–1.21; P-trend=0.15) and 0.92 (95% CI 0.64–1.32; P-trend=0.82) in men and 1.21 (95% CI 0.79–1.85; P-trend=0.10) and 0.81 (95% CI 0.51–1.27; P-trend=0.17) in women. The HRs for unprocessed red meat and processed meat and risk of ischaemic stroke were, respectively, 0.80 (95% CI 0.51–1.25; P-trend=0.51) and 0.86 (95% CI 0.57–1.29; P-trend=0.77) in men and 1.24 (95% CI 0.74–2.05; P-trend=0.13) and 0.82 (95% CI 0.47–1.42; P-trend=0.31) in women.
In the Spanish European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort, unprocessed red meat and processed meat consumption were not associated with risk of stroke in men or women.