High intake of stewed or roasted meat is associated with increased odds of bladder cancer, according to a new study.

In contrast, high intake of vegetables and milk/yogurt is associated with reduced odds of the malignancy.

The findings are from an Italian multicenter case-control study that included 690 bladder cancer cases and 665 controls matched by sex, 5-year age groups, and hospital. The highest quartile of total meat consumption was significantly associated with 57% increased odds of bladder cancer compared with the lowest quartile, but the odds of bladder cancer varied by meat preparation method, Matteo Di Maso, a PhD student at the University of Milan in Italy, and collaborators reported in Cancer Epidemiology. Compared with the lowest quartile, the highest quartile of consumption of stewed or roasted meat was significantly associated with 47% and 41% increased odds of bladder cancer, respectively. The investigators found no association between consumption of boiled, fried, or preserved meat and bladder cancer risk.

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The highest quartile of vegetable and milk/yogurt consumption each was significantly associated with 38% reduced odds of bladder cancer, respectively, compared with the lowest quartile. The study revealed no association between fruit consumption and bladder cancer risk.

The authors concluded that their findings “consolidate the concept of a role for diet” in bladder cancer etiology.

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The study population consisted of hospitalized patients. During patients’ hospital stay, trained interviewers administered validated food-frequency questionnaires as well as structured questionnaires to collect information on demographic characteristics, anthropometric measurements, occupational exposure to chemicals, medical history, and drug use.


Di Maso M, Turati F, Bosetti C, et al. Food consumption, meat cooking methods and diet diversity and the risk of bladder cancer [published online September 26, 2019]. Cancer Epidemiol. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2019.101595