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In the period January 1988-December 1995, a case-control study of diet and renal cell carcinoma (RCC) risk involving 121 cases and 243 hospitalized controls was carried out in Montevideo, Uruguay. After adjusting for major covariates, red meat intake was associated with a 3.4 increase in risk for the highest category of intake, with a significant dose-response pattern. Also, barbecued meat, protein and heterocyclic amine intakes were associated with significant increases in risk of RCC. The consumption of the beverage known as 'mate' (a ocal tea derived from the herb Ilex paraguariensis) was associated with an increased risk of 3.0 for heavy drinkers.