Diet, Lifestyle, and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Women
Previous studies have examined individual dietary and lifestyle factors in relation to type 2 diabetes, but the combined effects of these factors are largely unknown.
We followed 84,941 female nurses from 1980 to 1996; these women were free of diagnosed cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer at base line. Information about their diet and lifestyle was updated periodically. A low-risk group was defined according to a combination of five variables: a body-mass index (the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters) of less than 25; a diet high in cereal fiber and polyunsaturated fat and low in trans fat and glycemic load (which reflects the effect of diet on the blood glucose level); engagement in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity for at least half an hour per day; no current smoking; and the consumption of an average of at least half a drink of an alcoholic beverage per day.
During 16 years of follow-up, we documented 3300 new cases of type 2 diabetes. Overweight or obesity was the single most important predictor of diabetes. Lack of exercise, a poor diet, current smoking, and abstinence from alcohol use were all associated with a significantly increased risk of diabetes, even after adjustment for the body-mass index. As compared with the rest of the cohort, women in the low-risk group (3.4 percent of the women) had a relative risk of diabetes of 0.09 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.05 to 0.17). A total of 91 percent of the cases of diabetes in this cohort (95 percent confidence interval, 83 to 95 percent) could be attributed to habits and Continue reading