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Meat-lovers warned of cancer risk

Barbecue-lovers are being warned that meat cooked at high temperatures could increase their chances of developing bladder cancer.

According to new research, people who consume meat regularly, particularly if it is well done, could be at greater risk.

The news adds to evidence produced by previous studies that found charred meat may cause other types of the disease.

The 12-year study involved 884 bladder cancer patients and 878 without.

Over time, experts have shown that cooking meats at high temperatures creates chemicals not present in uncooked meats.

These heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are carcinogenic and are formed from the cooking of meats such as beef, pork and chicken.

HCAs develop when amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) and creatine (a chemical found in muscles) react at high cooking temperatures.

According to the National Cancer Institute in the US, experts have identified 17 different HCAs that "may pose human cancer risk".

The latest study was led by Jie Lin, an assistant professor at the University of Texas, and was presented at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting in Washington DC.

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The American Association for Cancer Research