Dietary metabolic signatures and cardiometabolic risk

Eur Heart J. 2023 Feb 14;44(7):557-569. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehac446.


Aims: Observational studies of diet in cardiometabolic-cardiovascular disease (CM-CVD) focus on self-reported consumption of food or dietary pattern, with limited information on individual metabolic responses to dietary intake linked to CM-CVD. Here, machine learning approaches were used to identify individual metabolic patterns related to diet and relation to long-term CM-CVD in early adulthood.

Methods and results: In 2259 White and Black adults (age 32.1 ± 3.6 years, 45% women, 44% Black) in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, multivariate models were employed to identify metabolite signatures of food group and composite dietary intake across 17 food groups, 2 nutrient groups, and healthy eating index-2015 (HEI2015) diet quality score. A broad array of metabolites associated with diet were uncovered, reflecting food-related components/catabolites (e.g. fish and long-chain unsaturated triacylglycerols), interactions with host features (microbiome), or pathways broadly implicated in CM-CVD (e.g. ceramide/sphingomyelin lipid metabolism). To integrate diet with metabolism, penalized machine learning models were used to define a metabolite signature linked to a putative CM-CVD-adverse diet (e.g. high in red/processed meat, refined grains), which was subsequently associated with long-term diabetes and CVD risk numerically more strongly than HEI2015 in CARDIA [e.g. diabetes: standardized hazard ratio (HR): 1.62, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.32-1.97, P < 0.0001; CVD: HR: 1.55, 95% CI: 1.12-2.14, P = 0.008], with associations replicated for diabetes (P < 0.0001) in the Framingham Heart Study.

Conclusion: Metabolic signatures of diet are associated with long-term CM-CVD independent of lifestyle and traditional risk factors. Metabolomics improves precision to identify adverse consequences and pathways of diet-related CM-CVD.

Keywords: CVD; Diet; Metabolism; Metabolomics; Nutrition; Precision medicine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / etiology
  • Diet / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Red Meat*
  • Risk Factors