Fiber intake, serum cholesterol levels, and cardiovascular disease in European individuals with type 1 diabetes. EURODIAB IDDM Complications Study Group

Diabetes Care. 1999 Mar;22 Suppl 2:B21-8.


Objective: A cross-sectional analysis of dietary fiber intake was performed in European type 1 diabetic patients enrolled in the EURODIAB IDDM Complications Study to explore its potential relationship to serum cholesterol levels and the prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Research design and methods: Dietary intake was assessed by a standardized 3-day dietary record. For analysis of fiber intake (total, soluble, and insoluble) and its associations with CVD (past history or electrocardiogram abnormalities), complete data were available from 1,050 male and 1,012 female individuals. Relationships of fiber intakes to serum cholesterol levels (total, HDL, and LDL cholesterol) were examined in 926 men and 881 women with type 1 diabetes.

Results: Higher intakes of total fiber (g/day) were independently associated with significantly higher levels of HDL cholesterol in male (P = 0.01) and female individuals (P = 0.03). Fiber intakes of men with type 1 diabetes were also inversely related to ratios of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol (P = 0.0001) and levels of LDL cholesterol (P = 0.0002). A protective effect of total fiber intake against CVD was observed for female subjects, where a significant trend was maintained after adjustment for potential confounders, including energy and saturated fat (P = 0.03 vs. P = 0.2 in men). Results were similar in separate analyses of soluble and insoluble fiber.

Conclusions: The present study demonstrates that higher fiber intakes are independently related to beneficial alterations of the serum cholesterol pattern in men and to a lower risk for CVD in European insulin-dependent women. Beneficial effects can already be observed for fiber amounts within the range commonly consumed by outpatients with type 1 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications*
  • Diet Records
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage*
  • Energy Intake
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence


  • Dietary Fiber
  • Cholesterol