Plasma metabolite profiles associated with the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research lifestyle score and future risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes

Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2023 Sep 16;22(1):252. doi: 10.1186/s12933-023-01912-6.


Background: A healthy lifestyle (HL) has been inversely related to type 2 diabetes (T2D) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, few studies have identified a metabolite profile associated with HL. The present study aims to identify a metabolite profile of a HL score and assess its association with the incidence of T2D and CVD in individuals at high cardiovascular risk.

Methods: In a subset of 1833 participants (age 55-80y) of the PREDIMED study, we estimated adherence to a HL using a composite score based on the 2018 Word Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research recommendations. Plasma metabolites were analyzed using LC-MS/MS methods at baseline (discovery sample) and 1-year of follow-up (validation sample). Cross-sectional associations between 385 known metabolites and the HL score were assessed using elastic net regression. A 10-cross-validation procedure was used, and correlation coefficients or AUC were assessed between the identified metabolite profiles and the self-reported HL score. We estimated the associations between the identified metabolite profiles and T2D and CVD using multivariable Cox regression models.

Results: The metabolite profiles that identified HL as a dichotomous or continuous variable included 24 and 58 metabolites, respectively. These are amino acids or derivatives, lipids, and energy intermediates or xenobiotic compounds. After adjustment for potential confounders, baseline metabolite profiles were associated with a lower risk of T2D (hazard ratio [HR] and 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.54, 0.38-0.77 for dichotomous HL, and 0.22, 0.11-0.43 for continuous HL). Similar results were observed with CVD (HR, 95% CI: 0.59, 0.42-0.83 for dichotomous HF and HR, 95%CI: 0.58, 0.31-1.07 for continuous HL). The reduction in the risk of T2D and CVD was maintained or attenuated, respectively, for the 1-year metabolomic profile.

Conclusions: In an elderly population at high risk of CVD, a set of metabolites was selected as potential metabolites associated with the HL pattern predicting the risk of T2D and, to a lesser extent, CVD. These results support previous findings that some of these metabolites are inversely associated with the risk of T2D and CVD.

Trial registration: The PREDIMED trial was registered at ISRCTN ( , ISRCTN35739639).

Keywords: Healthy lifestyle; Metabolite profile; Metabolomics; PREDIMED trial.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / prevention & control
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms*
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry

Associated data

  • ISRCTN/ISRCTN35739639