Consumption of meat, traditional and modern processed meat and colorectal cancer risk among the Moroccan population: A large-scale case-control study.Int J Cancer. 2020 03 01; 146(5):1333-1345.IJ
The current study aimed to investigate the relationship between red and white meat subtypes, processed meat (divided into traditional "Khlii, Kaddid" and industrially processed meat) and colorectal cancer (CRC) risk, considering CRC subsites, in Moroccan adults. A case-control study was conducted including 2,906 matched case-control pairs recruited from the five largest university hospitals in Morocco. Dietary data were collected through a validated Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ). Multivariable odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI), for the association of CRC risk with meat consumption (high vs. low intake), were estimated using conditional logistic regression models, adjusted for relevant confounding variables. Overall, consumption of red meat was positively associated with colon cancer and CRC risk (OR = 1.23, 95% CI = 1.05-1.44; OR = 1.14, 95% CI = 1.02-1.27), respectively. In contrast, no significant association was observed between the consumption of red meat and rectal cancer risk (OR = 1.05, 95% = 0.90-1.23). Interestingly, while processed meat from industrial processes was positively associated with colon cancer, rectal cancer and CRC (OR = 1.61, 95% CI = 1.27-2.04; OR = 1.73, 95% CI = 1.34-2.23; OR = 1.67, 95% CI = 1.41-1.98), processed meat prepared using traditional methods was inversely associated with colon cancer and CRC risk (OR = 0.74, 95% CI = 0.57-0.98; OR = 0.77, 95% CI = 0.64-0.93), respectively. Furthermore, positive associations were observed between poultry intake and colon cancer risk among men (OR = 1.27, 95% CI = 1.01-1.59). Our study showed similar associations between the consumption of red meat and CRC risk in Morocco as in developed countries, while inverse associations were found for traditionally processed meat products. This is the first study to investigate the differential effects of traditional vs. westernized processed meat products in a developing country. Other studies are needed to confirm these findings and to understand the physiological pathways underlying these associations.