Objective: To evaluate the relation of processed and unprocessed red meat and incident type 2 diabetes.
Research design and methods: We conducted a prospective study among 66,118 disease-free French women with dietary information from a validated questionnaire. Between 1993 and 2007, we identified 1,369 cases of incident diabetes. Multivariate analyses were adjusted for age, education, region, smoking, BMI, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, physical activity, parental history of diabetes, menopause, hormone replacement therapy, alcohol, calories, n-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, coffee, fiber, and fruits and vegetables.
Results: Comparing the highest category of processed meat intake, ≥5 servings/week (median, 48 g/day), to the lowest, <1 serving/week (median, 5 g/day), processed meat was significantly associated with incident diabetes (hazard ratio 1.30 [95% CI 1.07-1.59], P trend = 0.0007; for 1 serving/day, 1.29 [1.14-1.45]). Unprocessed red meat was not associated with diabetes.
Conclusions: In this large prospective cohort of French women, a direct association was observed only for processed red meat and type 2 diabetes.