Men with a diet rich in animal protein and meat such as sausages and cold cuts could be at a greater risk of death, finds a study.
The study found men who favoured animal protein over plant-based protein in their diet had a 23 per cent greater risk of death than men whose diet was more balanced in terms of their sources of protein.
In addition, a high overall intake of dietary protein was associated with a greater risk of death in men who had been diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer.
However, a similar association was not found in men without these diseases, said the study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
"These findings should not be generalised to older people who are at a greater risk of malnutrition and whose intake of protein often remains below the recommended amount," said Heli Virtanen, a postdoctoral candidate from the University of Eastern Finland.
The findings highlight the need to investigate the health effects of protein intake, especially in people who have a pre-existing chronic medical condition.
For the study, the researchers included approximately 2,600 Finnish men aged between 42 and 60.