Adherence to the Danish food-based dietary guidelines and risk of type 2 diabetes: the Danish diet, cancer, and health cohort

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Background/objectives We evaluated the association between adherence to the 2013 Danish dietary guidelines and the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) in a Danish cohort.

Subjects/methods We used data from the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health cohort. Participants aged 50-64 years were included from 1993-1997. Information on diet and covariates was collected at baseline using questionnaires and physical assessments. A diet index was developed to assess adherence to the Danish dietary guidelines. T2D cases were identified using the Danish National Diabetes Register. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate hazard ratios (HR), and the pseudo-observation method was used to estimate risk differences, and 95% confidence intervals (CI).

Results A total of 54,305 subject were included. During a median follow-up of 15 years, 7136 participants were diagnosed with T2D. After multivariable adjustment, the HR for high versus low adherence to the index was 0.57 (95 % CI: 0.48, 0.69) in men, and 0.71 (95% CI: 0.60, 0.83) in women. Compared with the lowest adherence to the index, high adherence was associated with a 6.58% (95% CI: -8.69; -4.47%) or 3.17% (95% CI: -4.90, -1.44%) lower risk of T2D in men and women, respectively.

Conclusions High adherence to the Danish food-based dietary guidelines was associated with lower risk of T2D in a Danish cohort, both on a relative and an absolute scale. Shifting from low to high adherence to the dietary guidelines may provide public health benefit.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Pages (from-to)836–844
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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