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Invited Commentary
Apr 9, 2012

Holy Cow! What's Good for You Is Good for Our Planet: Comment on “Red Meat Consumption and Mortality”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Preventive Medicine Research Institute and Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco.

Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(7):563-564. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.174

Is red meat bad for you? In a word, yes. In this issue, Pan et al1 describe the outcomes from more than 37 000 men from the Harvard Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and more than 83 000 women from the Harvard Nurses Health Study who were followed up for almost 3 million person-years.

This is the first large-scale prospective longitudinal study showing that consumption of both processed and unprocessed red meat is associated with an increased risk of premature mortality from all causes as well as from cardiovascular disease and cancer. In a related study by Pan et al,2 red meat consumption was also associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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