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Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Jan;79(1):70-5.

Dietary iron intake and blood donations in relation to risk of type 2 diabetes in men: a prospective cohort study.

Author information

  • 1Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA. rjiang@hsph.harvard.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Excessive iron stores may promote insulin resistance and lead to the development of type 2 diabetes. However, prospective data relating iron intake and blood donations (determinants of body iron stores) to diabetes incidence are limited.

OBJECTIVE:

We examined iron intake and blood donations in relation to the incidence of type 2 diabetes.

DESIGN:

We followed men aged 40-75 y who participated in the Health Professionals' Follow-up Study; were free of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer in 1986; and provided dietary data (n = 38 394). Of those participants, 33 541 also provided a history of blood donation during the past 30 y in 1992.

RESULTS:

During 12 y of follow-up, we ascertained 1168 new cases of type 2 diabetes. After adjustment for age, body mass index, and other diabetes risk factors, total iron intake was not associated with the risk of type 2 diabetes. Intakes of total heme iron [multivariate relative risk (RR) for extreme quintiles: 1.28; 95% CI: 1.02, 1.61; P for trend = 0.045] and of heme iron from red meat (RR: 1.63; 1.26, 2.10; P for trend < 0.001) were associated with an increased risk. However, heme-iron intake from sources other than red meat was not associated with diabetes risk (RR: 0.99; 0.81, 1.22). No significant associations were found between blood donation and the risk of type 2 diabetes.

CONCLUSIONS:

Heme-iron intake from red meat sources is positively associated with the risk of type 2 diabetes. Total iron intake, heme-iron intake from non-red meat sources, and blood donations are not related to the risk of type 2 diabetes.

PMID:
14684399
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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