Relation of unprocessed, processed red meat and poultry consumption to blood pressure in East Asian and Western adults

for the INTERMAP Research Group

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13 Scopus citations


Background: Epidemiologic evidence suggests that relationships of red meat consumption with risk of cardiovascular diseases depends on whether or not the meat is processed, including addition of preservatives, but evidence is limited for blood pressure (BP). Objective: To examine cross-sectional associations with BP of unprocessed and processed red meat and poultry consumption, total and by type, using data from the INTERnational study on MAcro/micronutrients and blood Pressure. Design: INTERnational study on MAcro/micronutrients and blood Pressure included 4680 men and women ages 40-59 years from 17 population samples in Japan, China, the United Kingdom, and the United States. During four visits, eight BP measurements, four multipass 24-h dietary recalls, and two timed 24-h urine samples were collected. Results: Average daily total unprocessed/processed meat consumption (g/1000 kcal) was 20/5 in East Asian and 38/21 in Western participants. Unprocessed meat intakes comprised red meat for 75% in East Asian and 50% in Western participants. In Westerners, multiple linear regression analyses showed SBP/DBP differences for total unprocessed red meat consumption higher by 25 g/1000 kcal +0.74/+0.57 mmHg (P = 0.03/0.01) and for unprocessed poultry of +0.79/+0.16 mmHg (P = 0.02/0.50). Unprocessed red meat was not related to BP in East Asian participants. In Westerners, SBP/DBP differences for processed red meat higher by 12.5 g/1000 kcal were +1.20/+0.24 mmHg (P < 0.01/0.24), due to consumption of cold cuts and sausages (+1.59/+0.32 mmHg, P < 0.001/0.27). Conclusion: These findings are consistent with recommendations to limit meat intake (processed and unprocessed) to maintain and improve cardiovascular health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1721-1729
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of hypertension
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Sources of funding: Supported by grants (R01-HL50490 and R01-HL84228) from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, and by the National Institutes of Health Office on Dietary Supplements (Bethesda, Maryland, USA); also by national agencies in Japan (the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports, and Culture, Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research, No. 090357003), and the United Kingdom (project grant from the West Midlands National Health Service Research and Development, and grant R2019EPH from the Chest, Heart and Stroke Association, Northern Ireland). The sponsors had no role in the design or conduct of the study; the collection, management, analysis, or interpretation of the data; or the preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript. The current analyses were conducted with financial support from the Imperial College London Junior research fellowship to L.M.O.G. and internship grants from the Dutch Heart Foundation and the Erasmus Programme to P.S. P.E. acknowledges support from the Medical Research Council - Public Health England (MRC-PHE) Centre for Environment and Health, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre based at Imperial College Healthcare National Health Service Trust and Imperial College London, and the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit on Health Impact of Environmental Hazards. P.E. is an NIHR Senior Investigator. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • blood pressure
  • epidemiology
  • food processing
  • meat
  • population studies


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