Dietary Fat and Meat Intake in Relation to Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Men

  1. Rob M. van Dam, MSC12,
  2. Walter C. Willett, MD134,
  3. Eric B. Rimm, SCD134,
  4. Meir J. Stampfer, MD134 and
  5. Frank B. Hu, MD14
  1. 1Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
  2. 2Department of Chronic Diseases Epidemiology, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, the Netherlands
  3. 3Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
  4. 4Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVE—To examine dietary fat and meat intake in relation to risk of type 2 diabetes.

    RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—We prospectively followed 42,504 male participants of the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study who were aged 40–75 years and free of diagnosed diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer in 1986. Diet was assessed by a validated food frequency questionnaire and updated in 1990 and 1994. During 12 years of follow-up, we ascertained 1,321 incident cases of type 2 diabetes.

    RESULTS—Intakes of total fat (multivariate RR for extreme quintiles 1.27, CI 1.04–1.55, P for trend=0.02) and saturated fat (1.34, 1.09–1.66, P for trend=0.01) were associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. However, these associations disappeared after additional adjustment for BMI (total fat RR 0.97, CI 0.79–1.18; saturated fat 0.97, 0.79–1.20). Intakes of oleic acid, trans-fat, long-chain n-3 fat, and α-linolenic acid were not associated with diabetes risk after multivariate adjustment. Linoleic acid was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes in men <65 years of age (RR 0.74, CI 0.60–0.92, P for trend=0.01) and in men with a BMI <25 kg/m2 (0.53, 0.33–0.85, P for trend=0.006) but not in older and obese men. Frequent consumption of processed meat was associated with a higher risk for type 2 diabetes (RR 1.46, CI 1.14–1.86 for ≥5/week vs. <1/month, P for trend <0.0001).

    CONCLUSIONS—Total and saturated fat intake were associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, but these associations were not independent of BMI. Frequent consumption of processed meats may increase risk of type 2 diabetes.

    Footnotes

    • Address correspondence to Rob M. van Dam, Department of Chronic Diseases Epidemiology, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, P.O. Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, the Netherlands. E-mail: rob.van.dam{at}rivm.nl.

      Address reprint requests to Dr. Frank B. Hu, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115.

      Received for publication 28 December 2000 and accepted in revised form 6 December 2001.

      A table elsewhere in this issue shows conventional and Système International (SI) units and conversion factors for many substances.

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