Highlights From the Latest in Diabetes Research

More Evidence Implicating Red Meat in Diabetes Risk

There is no doubt that a Western lifestyle, including excess caloric intake and limited physical activity, increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. Understanding the risks associated with specific aspects of unfavorable lifestyle choices may facilitate the development of prevention efforts that are tailored to the needs of specific patients. One feature of the Western diet is a relatively high consumption of animal protein. Recently, pooled data from several observational studies suggested that red meat intake was associated with increased risk of diabetes. The investigators in that study report that a one-serving increase in total red meat consumption was associated with a 14% increase in diabetes risk. However, this research focused on the association between red meat intake at a single point in time and related this exposure to diabetes risk without considering the potential impact that changes in meat consumption may have on this risk. The new research by Pan et al. extends previous findings by looking at the dynamic relationship between meat intake over time and the risk of diabetes in nearly 150,000 individuals. The investigators relied on 20 years of follow-up (1986–2006) from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, 20 years of follow-up (1986–2006) from the Nurses’ Health Study, and 16 years of follow-up (1991–2007) from the Nurses’ Health Study II. The exposure of central interest was the change in red meat intake in each 4-year period of follow-up, and the main outcome was the incidence of type 2 diabetes in the subsequent 4 years. Pooled analyses indicated that relative to people who did not change their red meat consumption, the risk of diabetes increased 30% (hazard …

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This Article

  1. doi: 10.2337/db13-dd10 Diabetes vol. 62 no. 10 3643-3644
  1. Free via Open Access: OA