Background: Japanese diets contain a relatively high amount of carbohydrates, and its high dietary glycemic index and glycemic load may raise the risk of diabetes in the Japanese population. The current study evaluated the associations between the dietary glycemic index, glycemic load, and the risk of type 2 diabetes in a population based cohort in Japan.
Methods: We observed 27,769 men and 36,864 women (45-75 y) who participated in the second survey of the Japan Public Health Center-based Prospective Study. The dietary glycemic index and glycemic load were estimated using a food-frequency questionnaire. The development of diabetes was reported in a questionnaire administered five years later, and the associations were analyzed using logistic regression after controlling for age, area, total energy intake, smoking status, family history of diabetes, physical activity, hypertension, BMI, alcohol intake, magnesium, calcium, dietary fiber and coffee intake, and occupation.
Results: The dietary glycemic load was positively associated with the risk of diabetes among women: the multivariable-adjusted odds ratio comparing the highest vs. the lowest quartile was 1.52 (95% CI, 1.13-2.04; P-trend = 0.01). The association was implied to be stronger among women with BMI < 25 than the women with BMI ≥ 25. The dietary glycemic index was positively associated with the risk of diabetes among men with a high intake of total fat: the multivariable-adjusted odds ratio comparing the highest vs. the lowest quartile was 1.46 (95% CI, 0.94-2.28; P-trend = 0.04). Among women with a high total fat intake, those in the first and second quartiles of the dietary glycemic index had a significant reduced risk of diabetes, compared with those in the first quartile who had a lower total fat level (multivariable-adjusted odds ratio = 0.59 with 95% CI, 0.37-0.94, and odds ratio = 0.63 with 95% CI, 0.40-0.998 respectively).
Conclusions: The population-based cohort study in Japan indicated that diets with a high dietary glycemic load increase the risk of type 2 diabetes among women. Total fat intake may modify the association between the dietary glycemic index and the risk of type 2 diabetes among men and women.