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Diet & Health : Cancer Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM

Cured/smoked meat and fish linked to high leukemia risk
By David Liu Ph.D.
Jan 30, 2009 - 9:24:55 AM

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Jan 30, 2009 ( -- Eating smoked or cured meat and fish often may increase risk of childhood leukemia, a study published in the Jan 13, 2009 issue of BMC Cancer suggests.

The study led by Liu CY and colleagues showed that children who ate cured or smoked meat and fish more than once a week were at a 74 percent higher risk of developing leukemia.

It is a fact that consumption of cured or smoked meat and fish leads to the formation of carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds in the stomach.  The researchers wanted to know if there is an association between consumption of the carcinogen-inducing foods and childhood leukemia risk.

For the study, they surveyed 145 Chinese children aged 2 to 20 who were diagnosed with leukemia and 370 age- and sex- matched children without the disease for their dietary habits.

In addition to the link between consumption of cured/smoked meat and fish and increased risk of leukemia, the researchers found both high intake of vegetables and bean cured foods was linked with a 45 percent reduced risk of leukemia.

No association was found though between consumption of pickled vegetables, fruits and tea and risk of leukemia.

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