High low-carbohydrate diet scores up risk of diabetes mellitus
Compared with the lowest scores, the highest low-carbohydrate diet (LCD) scores are associated with a 17 percent higher risk of diabetes mellitus (DM), according to a new meta-analysis.
A meta-analysis of four eligible cohort studies (n=8,018) reporting on the effects of LCD on the risk of DM showed that the highest LCD scores had significantly higher risks of DM than the lowest scores (overall relative risk [RR], 1.17; 95 percent CI, 0.90 to 1.51; p=0.001).
Subgroup analysis was performed because of the high degree of heterogeneity (p<0.001). Adjustment for energy also yielded a correlation between DM risk and high LCD scores (RR, 1.32; 1.17 to 1.49) and removed heterogeneity (p=0.96).
Studies with follow-up periods of ≤12 years showed a significant association between risk of DM and high LCD scores (RR, 1.35; 1.05 to 1.75). Moreover, studies with quality scores <7 yielded significant correlations between DM risk and LCD scores (RR, 1.31; 1.15 to 1.49) while those with ≥7 quality scores did not (RR, 1.09; 0.73 to 1.63).
Studies for the meta-analysis were retrieved from PubMed, Google Scholar, ISI Web of Science, Embase and Scopus. The search yielded 14 original studies which were further reduced to four after excluding noncohort studies and those with irrelevant outcome reports.
One study focused on males, two on females and the remaining one on both sexes. Participants were aged anywhere from 13.8 to 75 years; follow-up duration ranged from 3.6 to 20 years.
The quality scores of the studies, measured by the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale, ranged from six to eight, indicating good- to high methodological quality in general.