Aims/hypothesis: The aim of this study was to identify a dietary pattern associated with diabetes-related biomarkers and to investigate whether this pattern is associated with the incidence of type 2 diabetes.
Methods: A nested case-control study of 192 cases of incident type 2 diabetes and 382 control subjects matched for sex and age was conducted. All subjects were participants in the population-based European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Potsdam Study. Dietary pattern score was derived using intake data on 48 food groups as exposure variables and the biomarkers HbA1c, HDL cholesterol, C-reactive protein and adiponectin as response variables in reduced rank regression. The association of the score with diabetes risk was estimated by conditional logistic regression analysis.
Results: A high score for the identified dietary pattern was characterised by a high intake of fresh fruit and a low intake of high-caloric soft drinks, beer, red meat, poultry, processed meat, legumes and bread (excluding wholegrain bread). Subjects with high scores had high plasma concentrations of HDL cholesterol and adiponectin and low plasma concentrations of HbA1c and C-reactive protein. After multivariate adjustment, the odds ratios for type 2 diabetes across increasing quintiles of the dietary pattern score were 1.0, 0.59, 0.51, 0.26 and 0.27, respectively (p = 0.0006 for trend).
Conclusions/interpretation: A high score for the identified dietary pattern is associated with a more favourable biomarker profile and a substantially reduced incidence of type 2 diabetes.