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Bladder Cancer Linked to Compounds in Processed Meat

Research provides modest support for higher risk of cancer with nitrite, nitrate intake

MONDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- A diet high in certain compounds found in processed meats could put people at a slightly elevated risk for developing bladder cancer, according to research published online Aug. 2 in Cancer.

Leah M. Ferrucci, Ph.D., of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Rockville, Md., and colleagues estimated dietary intake of nitrate and nitrite from processed meat as well as heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from cooked meat in 300,933 men and women, 854 of whom developed bladder cancer over seven years.

The researchers found no association between bladder cancer and consumption of all processed meats, but some association between bladder cancer and processed red meats and red meat cold cuts. Those with the highest amount of total dietary nitrite and the highest levels of nitrate plus nitrite from processed meat had a 28 to 29 percent higher risk of developing bladder cancer than those with the lowest levels of nitrite and nitrate.

"These findings provided modest support for an increased risk of bladder cancer with total dietary nitrite and nitrate plus nitrite from processed meat. Results also suggested a positive association between red meat and 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo-[4,5-b]pyridine and bladder carcinogenesis," the authors write.

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