Background: Recent evidence suggests that the rate of carbohydrate digestion and absorption may influence the development of type 2 diabetes.
Objective: The aim of this study was to examine associations of dietary glycemic index and glycemic load with predictors of type 2 diabetes in older adults.
Design: This study evaluated cross-sectional relations of dietary glycemic index and glycemic load with measures of glucose metabolism and body fat distribution in participants of the Health, Aging and Body Composition Study, a prospective cohort study of adults aged 70-80 y (n = 2248).
Results: In men, dietary glycemic index was positively associated with 2-h glucose (P for trend = 0.04) and fasting insulin (P for trend = 0.004), inversely associated with thigh intramuscular fat (P for trend = 0.02), and not significantly associated with fasting glucose, glycated hemoglobin, or visceral abdominal fat. Dietary glycemic load was inversely associated in men with visceral abdominal fat (P for trend = 0.02) and not significantly associated with fasting glucose, 2-h glucose, glycated hemoglobin, fasting insulin, or thigh intramuscular fat. In women, although dietary glycemic index and load were not significantly related to any measures of glucose metabolism or body fat distribution, the association between dietary glycemic index and 2-h glucose was nearly significant (P for trend = 0.06).
Conclusion: The findings of this cross-sectional study indicate an association between dietary glycemic index and selected predictors of type 2 diabetes in older adults, particularly in men.