A study of 470 cases of aggressive prostate cancer (PCa) and 512 controls demonstrated that higher consumption of any ground beef or processed meats was associated with an increased risk of aggressive PCa, particularly when the meat was grilled or barbecued and when well-done.

The study, by Sanoj Punnen, MD, of the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues, found that high consumption of well-cooked/very-well-cooked ground beef was associated with a twofold increased risk of aggressive PCa compared with no consumption. Low consumption was associated with a 51% increased risk, according to findings published in PLoS One 2011;6:e27711). In contrast, consumption of rare or medium-cooked ground beef was not associated with aggressive PCa.

In addition, the investigators observed an increased risk associated with two meat mutagens produced by high-temperature cooking when comparing highest to lowest quartiles of intake.

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