The research reviewed here included several studies with specific inclusion criteria and a total of 1,218,380 individuals (Micha R, et al. 2010). This was a very large study and not only did it include processed meat, but also the relationship of red unprocessed meat and total meat consumption with the incident of cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes. It was documented that red meat intake was not associated with cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Processed meat intake however was associated a 42% higher risk of cardiovascular disease and 19% higher risk of diabetes per 50 grams serving per day.The researchers did not find any association to stroke, but that may be because very few studies evaluated these relationships.Processed meat includes cold cuts, salami, sausage and hot dogs. It is meat that has been prepared in some form and is not a plain piece of raw meat.If you want to know more about foods relationship to health and disease, read the book, "The Food Connection," which also includes a lot of easy to make recipes.