Table 1—

Baseline characteristics among 37,309 women according to intakes of total meat, red meat, and processed meat comparing highest quintile (Q5) to lowest quintile (Q1) in the WHS

Quintile of intakeTotal meat
Red meat
Processed meat
Q1Q5Q1Q5Q1Q5
Median intake (servings/day)0.632.270.131.4200.56
Age (years)54.6 ± 7.553.5 ± 6.754.3 ± 7.253.5 ± 6.854.0 ± 7.054.0 ± 7.1
Smoking (%)
    Current11.415.37.9718.87.6520.8
    Never51.351.551.550.353.647.2
    Past37.433.240.530.938.832.0
Exercise (%)
    Rarely/never36.540.730.047.030.746.7
    <1/week17.222.515.822.216.222.3
    1–3/week32.229.236.025.136.125.1
    ≥4/week14.27.6518.25.7417.05.95
Alcohol consumption (%)
    Rarely never49.245.946.548.245.246.3
    1–3 drinks/month12.812.413.312.213.412.3
    1–6 drinks/week28.731.330.929.331.830.2
    ≥1 drink/day9.2910.49.3310.39.6711.2
Postmenopausal hormone use (%)
    Never46.049.346.450.246.149.4
    Past10.710.810.310.99.6011.5
    Current43.440.043.339.044.339.1
Mean BMI (kg/m2)24.8 ± 4.327.1 ± 5.524.7 ± 4.327.0 ± 5.524.9 ± 4.426.9 ± 5.5
Multivitamin use (%)31.627.434.025.132.225.9
History of hypertension (%)22.429.122.228.222.029.5
History of high cholesterol (%)26.427.328.126.028.025.6
Family history of diabetes (%)23.727.524.126.923.627.1
Diet (adjusted for total energy)
Total calorie (kcal/day)1,3332,2361,4582,1271,5691,989
Carbohydrate (g/day)248200248199239206
Total fat (g/day)52.762.748.466.150.764.6
Saturated fat (g/day)18.021.416.023.016.922.4
Monounsaturated fat (g/day)19.423.717.425.318.524.6
Polyunsaturated fat (g/day)10.711.510.611.510.511.7
Trans fatty acid (g/day)2.122.431.722.741.802.69
Cholesterol (mg/day)173267186259199254
Proteins (g/day)69.689.978.983.282.079.5
Fiber (g/day)21.217.422.716.221.816.6
Magnesium (mg/day)355325377305369308
Glycemic load*187150185151178157
  • Data are means ± SD unless otherwise indicated. All covariate values are according to the quintiles of total red meat consumption. All the means of nutrients are energy adjusted.

  • *

    * Glycemic load was defined as an indicator of blood glucose induced by an individual’s total carbohydrate intake. Each unit of glycemic load represents the equivalent of 1 g of carbohydrate from white bread.