[Note the spin, which was in virtually every news source that carried this story -- the qualifiers "lots" of processed meat and "rich" in meat are used to describe consumption, when in fact the actual amounts are very small. 40 grams (1.4 oz) is just 1-1/2 slices of bologna, or less than one regular-size hot dog, while 70 grams (2.5 oz) is smaller than one regular-size hamburger patty. AVERAGE per capita consumption of red meat in America is more than double this: 5.2 oz per day. -ed.]
LOS ANGELES, April 20 (Reuters) - A diet containing lots of processed meats, like hot dogs and sausages, raises the risk of pancreatic cancer, according to a large multiethnic study unveiled on Wednesday.
The researchers found that heavy consumers of processed meats -- 40 grams [1.4 oz] a day or more -- were 67 percent more likely to develop cancer of the pancreas than study participants with the lowest intake.
In addition, a diet rich in pork and red meat -- 70 grams [2.5 oz] a day or more -- also increased pancreatic cancer risk by about 50 percent, according to the study.
Consumption of poultry, fish, dairy products and eggs showed no link to pancreatic cancer risk, nor did overall intake of total fat, saturated fat, or cholesterol.
"The results suggest that carcinogenic substances related to meat preparation, rather than their inherent fat or cholesterol content, might be responsible ...," said Dr. Ute Nothlings, the study's lead investigator from the Cancer Research Center at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu.
She noted, however, that the study did not examine cooking methods and her team is now working to collect that data.
Meat consumption has been linked to pancreatic cancer in the past, but study results have been inconsistent.
This seven-year study examined the relationship between diet and pancreatic cancer in 190,545 men and women of African-American, Japanese-American, Caucasian, Latino and Native Hawaiian descent.
"An analysis of fat and saturated fat intake showed a significant increase in risk for fats from meat, but not from dairy products, indicating that fat and saturated fat are not likely to contribute to the underlying carcinogenic mechanism," Nothlings said.
She suggested that chemical reactions that occur during the preparation of processed meats might be responsible for the association.
The results were reported a meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Anaheim, California.