Processed red meat contribution to dietary patterns and the associated cardio-metabolic outcomes

Yvonne M Lenighan, Anne P Nugent, Kaifeng F Li, Lorraine Brennan, Janette Walton, Albert Flynn, Helen M Roche, Breige A McNulty

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Evidence suggests that processed red meat consumption is a risk factor for CVD and type 2 diabetes (T2D). This analysis investigates the association between dietary patterns, their processed red meat contributions, and association with blood biomarkers of CVD and T2D, in 786 Irish adults (18-90 years) using cross-sectional data from a 2011 national food consumption survey. All meat-containing foods consumed were assigned to four food groups (n 502) on the basis of whether they contained red or white meat and whether they were processed or unprocessed. The remaining foods (n 2050) were assigned to twenty-nine food groups. Two-step and k-means cluster analyses were applied to derive dietary patterns. Nutrient intakes, plasma fatty acids and biomarkers of CVD and T2D were assessed. A total of four dietary patterns were derived. In comparison with the pattern with lower contributions from processed red meat, the dietary pattern with greater processed red meat intakes presented a poorer Alternate Healthy Eating Index (21·2 (sd 7·7)), a greater proportion of smokers (29 %) and lower plasma EPA (1·34 (sd 0·72) %) and DHA (2·21 (sd 0·84) %) levels (P<0·001). There were no differences in classical biomarkers of CVD and T2D, including serum cholesterol and insulin, across dietary patterns. This suggests that the consideration of processed red meat consumption as a risk factor for CVD and T2D may need to be re-assessed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-228
JournalThe British Journal of Nutrition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2017


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2
  • Diet
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid
  • Fatty Acids
  • Female
  • Food Handling
  • Humans
  • Insulin
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Red Meat
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Triglycerides
  • Young Adult
  • Journal Article


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