HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Singapore or Virtually from your home or work.

3rd Edition of

International Public Health Conference

March 21-23, 2024 | Singapore

IPHC 2023

Anthony Kityo

Speaker at International Public Health Conference 2023 - Anthony Kityo
Kangwon National University, Korea, Republic of
Title : Total and cause-specific mortality associated with meat intake in a large cohort study in Korea


Background: Asia has experienced a large increase in meat intake in the past decade, yet the health impact of meat intake is not well studied.

Objective: We examined the association of meat intake with all-cause, cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality in an Asian country.

Methods: Participants were 113,568 adults with dietary data at recruitment (2004-2013) of the Health Examinees-Gem (HEXA-G) study, a prospective cohort study conducted in 8 regions of Korea. Participants were followed until 31 December 2020.  Total, red, white, and organ meat intake were computed based on a 106-item questionnaire. Multivariable Cox proportional hazard models were implemented using the lowest quintile of meat intake as the reference category.

Findings: For 1,205,236 person-years, 3454 deaths were recorded. High intake of processed red meat was positively associated with all-cause mortality (men: hazard ratio (HR) 1.21, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.07-1.37; women: HR 1.32, 95% CI 1.12-1.56). Increased risk of all-cause mortality (HR 1.21, 95% CI 1.05-1.39) and cancer mortality (HR 1.24, 95% CI 1.03-1.50) was observed in women with high intake of organ meat. Moderate intake of pork belly was associated with reduced risk of all-cause mortality in men (HR 0.76, 95% CI 0.62-0.93) and women (HR 0.83, 95% 0.69-0.98) but high intake was associated with increased risk of CVD mortality in women (HR 1.84, 95% CI 1.20-2.82). Low beef intake decreased the risk of CVD mortality in men (HR 0.58, 95% CI 0.40-0.84), but roasted pork increased cancer mortality in women (HR 1.26, 95% CI 1.05-1.52).

Conclusion: There was increased risk of all-cause mortality associated with intake of processed red meat in men and women, increased risk of all-cause and cancer mortality with intake of organ meat in women, and increased risk of cancer mortality with intake of roasted pork in women. High intake of pork belly increased the risk of CVD mortality in women, but moderate intake was inversely associated with mortality from all-causes in both men and women. 

Keywords: Meat intake, processed red meat, all-cause mortality, cox model, cohort study 

Audience Take Away Notes:

  • Although more evidence is required, results from this study warrant public efforts to minimize consumption of processed red meat, roasted meat and moderate the consumption of pork belly and beef, and substitute them with other animal proteins such as lean chicken, fish and seafood.
  • Researchers may extend these findings to examine the socio-ecological contexts that underlie unique associations of meat intake with health outcomes in Asia, to design effective public health guidelines for meat consumption.


Mr. Kityo completed his Bachelor’s degree in Human Nutrition from Makerere University-Uganda, and graduated with a MSc in Food Science and Nutrition in 2019 from Kyungpook National University, Korea. In 2021, He enrolled for a PhD in Preventive Medicine at Kangwon National University in Korea, focusing on Nutrition and cancer epidemiology under Prof Sang-Ah Lee. He has so far published 6 papers including 3 papers in SCI journals.