The relationship between various diet quality indices and risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) remains unsettled. We compared associations of 4 diet quality indices--the Alternate Mediterranean Diet Index, Healthy Eating Index 2010, Alternate Healthy Eating Index 2010, and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Index--with reported T2D in the Women's Health Initiative, overall, by race/ethnicity, and with/without adjustment for overweight/obesity at enrollment (a potential mediator). This cohort (n = 101,504) included postmenopausal women without T2D who completed a baseline food frequency questionnaire from which the 4 diet quality index scores were derived. Higher scores on the indices indicated a better diet. Cox regression was used to estimate multivariate hazard ratios for T2D. Pearson coefficients for correlation among the indices ranged from 0.55 to 0.74. Follow-up took place from 1993 to 2013. During a median 15 years of follow-up, 10,815 incident cases of T2D occurred. For each diet quality index, a 1-standard-deviation higher score was associated with 10%-14% lower T2D risk (P < 0.001). Adjusting for overweight/obesity at enrollment attenuated but did not eliminate associations to 5%-10% lower risk per 1-standard-deviation higher score (P < 0.001). For all 4 dietary indices examined, higher scores were inversely associated with T2D overall and across racial/ethnic groups. Multiple forms of a healthful diet were inversely associated with T2D in these postmenopausal women.
Keywords: Alternate Healthy Eating Index; Alternate Mediterranean Diet Index; Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension Index; Healthy Eating Index; dietary patterns; health disparities; type 2 diabetes; women's health.
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