Hold the Bacon: Processed Meats Linked to Early Death

A new study links the consumption of processed meats with a significant risk of early death.



As I extensively discuss in my bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, red meat and processed meats (such as bacon, sausages, and luncheon meats) have been directly linked to an increased risk of multiple different types of cancer, including cancers of the breast, prostate, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, colon, and rectum. Moreover, diets rich in these meat products are also associated with a higher risk of that other great killer of mankind, cardiovascular disease.  Now, a newly published public health study puts the impact of a meat-rich diet into stark perspective. This important new clinical study appears in the current issue of the journal BMC Medicine.

Nearly 450,000 men and women between the ages of 35 and 69 have participated in a huge ongoing prospective public health study, the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), making this one of the largest prospective clinical research studies ever undertaken. All of these study volunteers were without clinical evidence of cancer, stroke, or cardiovascular disease at the time they entered into this clinical study. At the time when data from the EPIC study was collected for this analysis, after almost 13 years of follow-up on average, 26,344 study volunteers had died since enrolling in the study.

Following extensive statistical analysis of the huge amount of data collected in this study, the increased consumption of processed meats was linked to a 44 percent increase in the risk of death from all causes, including cardiovascular (heart) disease and cancer. Red meat was also associated with an increase in the risk of death due to all causes, although not to the same extent as was observed with processed meats. (As with multiple previous studies, this study also found no association between the consumption of poultry and an increase in the risk of death from any cause.)

Based upon their analysis of the data, the researchers who conducted this gigantic public health study concluded that more than 3 percent of the deaths observed in this study could have been prevented if all study volunteers had decreased their processed meat intake to less than 20 grams (0.7 ounces) per day.

As I discuss in A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, our dietary and other lifestyle choices can have an enormous impact on our overall health, including our risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. If you seek to minimize your risk of these two great killers of modern mankind, and you wish to begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle now, then get your copy of A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race from your favorite bookstore!


For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my bestselling book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionVroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

Within one week of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books. Within three months of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.com Top 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list.


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Dr. Wascher’s latest video:

Dark as Night, Part 1

Dark as Night, Part 1

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At this time, more than 8 percent of Americans are unemployed.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, the unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty between September 2001 and December 2011 is now more than 12 percent.  A new website, Veterans in Healthcare, seeks to connect veterans with potential employers.  If you are a veteran who works in the healthcare field, or if you are an employer who is looking for physicians, advanced practice professionals, nurses, corpsmen/medics, or other healthcare professionals, then please take a look at Veterans in Healthcare. As a retired veteran of the U.S. Army, I would also like to personally urge you to hire a veteran whenever possible.

Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity

Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people from around the world who visit this premier global health information website every month.  Over the past 12 months, more than 2.7 million pages of high-quality medical research findings were served to the worldwide audience of health-conscious readers.  As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.


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