Objective: Whereas limited and inconsistent findings have been reported on the relation between dietary cholesterol or egg consumption and fasting glucose, no previous study has examined the association between egg consumption and type 2 diabetes. This project sought to examine the relation between egg intake and the risk of type 2 diabetes in two large prospective cohorts.
Research design and methods: In this prospective study, we used data from two completed randomized trials: 20,703 men from the Physicians' Health Study I (1982-2007) and 36,295 women from the Women's Health Study (1992-2007). Egg consumption was ascertained using questionnaires, and we used the Cox proportional hazard model to estimate relative risks of type 2 diabetes.
Results: During mean follow-up of 20.0 years in men and 11.7 years in women, 1,921 men and 2,112 women developed type 2 diabetes. Compared with no egg consumption, multivariable adjusted hazard ratios for type 2 diabetes were 1.09 (95% CI 0.87-1.37), 1.09 (0.88-1.34), 1.18 (0.95-1.45), 1.46 (1.14-1.86), and 1.58 (1.25-2.01) for consumption of <1, 1, 2-4, 5-6, and > or =7 eggs/week, respectively, in men (P for trend <0.0001). Corresponding multivariable hazard ratios for women were 1.06 (0.92-1.22), 0.97 (0.83-1.12), 1.19 (1.03-1.38), 1.18 (0.88-1.58), and 1.77 (1.28-2.43), respectively (P for trend <0.0001).
Conclusions: These data suggest that high levels of egg consumption (daily) are associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in men and women. Confirmation of these findings in other populations is warranted.