Eating Red Meat May Up ESRD Risk

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Substituting with alternative sources of protein may reduce ESRD incidence
Substituting with alternative sources of protein may reduce ESRD incidence

(HealthDay News) — Red meat intake is associated with increased risk of end-stage renal disease (ESRD), according to a study published online July 14 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Quan-Lan Jasmine Lew, from Singhealth Polyclinics in Singapore, and colleagues examined the effects of total protein and different food sources on ESRD risk in the Singapore Chinese Health Study, with 63,257 Chinese adults aged 45 to 74 years. A validated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire was used to collect habitual diet information.

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The researchers found that after a mean follow-up of 15.5 years there were 951 incident ESRD cases. For total protein intake, the hazard ratio for the three higher quartiles combined versus the lowest quartile was 1.24, but across the quartiles the association was not statistically significant (Ptrend = 0.16). There was a strong correlation for red meat intake with risk in a dose-dependent manner, with a hazard ratio of 1.40 comparing the highest to lowest quartile (Ptrend < 0.001). There was no correlation noted for intakes of poultry, fish, eggs, or dairy products. There was a maximum relative risk reduction of 62.4 percent in substitution analysis which replaced one serving of red meat with other food sources of protein (P < 0.01).

"Our study showed that red meat intake may increase risk of ESRD in the general population, and substituting red meat intake with alternative sources of protein may reduce ESRD incidence," the authors write.

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