(HealthDay News) — Processed red meat intake is associated with an increased incidence of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) in a Japanese population, according to a study published online March 7 in Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine.

Yoshimitsu Shimomura, M.D., from the Graduate School of Medicine at Osaka University in Japan, and colleagues examined the association between AML/MDS incidence and meat, fish, or fatty acid intake using data for 93,366 participants from the Japan Public Health Center-based prospective study. Participants were followed for 1,345,002 person-years.

The researchers identified 67 AML and 49 MDS cases during the follow-up period. Increased intake of processed red meat was associated with an increased incidence of AML/MDS, with a hazard ratio of 1.63 for the highest versus the lowest tertile. No associations were seen for intake of other foods and fatty acids with AML/MDS.

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“Our results showed that a higher processed red meat intake was associated with an increased incidence of AML/MDS,” the authors write. “On the other hand, other intakes of interest had a null association with the incidence of AML/MDS.”

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