Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Red Meat-Breast Cancer Link Is Junk Science

“Breast cancer risk linked to red meat, study finds,” headlined the Washington Post’s front page last Tuesday. “Younger women who regularly eat red meat appear to face an increased risk for a common form of breast cancer, according to a large, well-known Harvard study of women's health,” began the Post’s report. The researchers studied 90,659 women aged 26-46 over 12 years. Red meat intake was assessed three times via self-administered questionnaire during those 12 years. By the end of the study period, 1021 cases of invasive breast cancer had been documented. Contrary to the Post’s headline, however, the researchers actually reported no statistically significant correlation between red meat intake and all types of breast cancer.
Now you might think that the researchers would have stopped at that point and moved on to some other more promising health scare. Instead, they opted to dig deeper into their data. They seemingly struck health scare gold by mining an apparent statistical correlation between red meat intake and so-called “hormone receptor-positive” breast tumors – that is, tumors in which hormones like estrogen and progesterone are thought to play key roles. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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