Journal Article

Dietary Fat and the Risk of Clinical Type 2 Diabetes

Anne-Helen Harding, Nicholas E. Day, Kay-Tee Khaw, Sheila Bingham, Robert Luben, Ailsa Welsh and Nicholas J. Wareham

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 159, issue 1, pages 73-82
Published in print January 2004 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online January 2004 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI:
Dietary Fat and the Risk of Clinical Type 2 Diabetes

Show Summary Details


The role of dietary fat in the etiology of type 2 diabetes remains uncertain. The authors investigated the association between dietary fat composition and risk of clinical type 2 diabetes in the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer-Norfolk study and identified food consumption patterns associated with dietary fat composition. Diet was assessed at baseline (1993–1997) using a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire. From multiple sources of information, 414 incident cases of diabetes were identified among 23,631 men and women aged 40–78 years during 3–7 years of follow-up. The capture-recapture ascertainment level was 99%. The energy-adjusted dietary polyunsaturated:saturated fat ratio was inversely associated with the risk of diabetes (odds ratio (OR) = 0.84 per standard deviation change, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.75, 0.94). Adjustment for age, sex, family history of diabetes, smoking, physical activity, total fat, protein, and alcohol attenuated the association (OR = 0.88, 95% CI: 0.78, 0.99), and it was no longer statistically significant after including body mass index and the waist:hip ratio (OR = 0.91, 95% CI: 0.81, 1.03). This prospective study showed that an increased dietary polyunsaturated:saturated fat ratio was associated with a reduced risk of diabetes, independent of age, sex, family history of diabetes, and other lifestyle factors.

Keywords: diabetes mellitus; dietary fats; prospective studies; Abbreviations: CI, confidence interval; EPIC, European Prospective Investigation of Cancer; HbA1c, glycated hemoglobin; OR, odds ratio; P:S ratio, polyunsaturated:saturated fat ratio.

Journal Article.  6738 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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