Objective: To investigate the association between macronutrient intake and type 2 diabetes risk in middle-aged Australian women.
Design: A prospective cohort study, with 6 years (2002-2007) of follow up. Dietary intake was assessed with a validated FFQ. Relative risks with 95 % confidence intervals were used to examine risk associations.
Setting: Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health, Australia.
Subjects: Australian women (n 8370) from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health aged 45-50 years and free of type 2 diabetes at baseline.
Results: After 6 years of follow-up, 311 women developed type 2 diabetes. After adjusting for sociodemographic, lifestyle and other dietary risk factors, MUFA, total n-3 PUFA, α-linolenic acid and total n-6 PUFA intakes were positively associated with the incidence of type 2 diabetes. The relative risks for type 2 diabetes for the highest compared with the lowest quintiles were 1·64 (95 % CI 1·06, 2·54), P = 0·04 for MUFA; 1·55 (95 % CI 1·03, 2·32), P = 0·01 for n-3 PUFA; 1·84 (95 % CI 1·25, 2·71), P < 0·01 for α-linolenic acid; and 1·60 (95 % CI 1·03, 2·48), P = 0·04 for n-6 PUFA. Other dietary macronutrients were not significantly associated with diabetes risk.
Conclusions: The data indicate that consumption of MUFA, n-3 PUFA and n-6 PUFA may influence the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in women.