Analysis of data from a major international cancer study has uncovered more evidence of a link between a diet high in red meat and increased cancer risk.
The analysis, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, followed the diet and health of over half a million people for almost six years, across ten EU countries.
People who ate a diet rich in meat – particularly red and processed meats – were shown to have a higher risk of some stomach cancers.
The risk was even greater for people carrying an common intestinal infection called Heliobacter pylori, which can cause gastritis and other stomach problems.
“This study shows that increased red and processed meat consumption also significantly increases the risk of developing stomach cancer,” said Dr Lesley Walker of Cancer Research UK.
“Cancer Research UK advises a balanced diet combining smaller and fewer portions of red and processed meat with plenty of fruit and vegetables to help reduce your risk of cancer.”
Stomach cancer is the fifth most common cancer for men and the ninth most common cancer for women in the UK. Around 9,000 new cases are diagnosed annually.