Consumption of meat is associated with higher fasting glucose and insulin concentrations regardless of glucose and insulin genetic risk scores: A meta-analysis of 50,345 Caucasians

Amanda M. Fretts, Jack L. Follis, Jennifer A. Nettleton, Rozenn N. Lemaitre, Julius S. Ngwa, Mary K. Wojczynski, Ioanna Panagiota Kalafati, Tibor V. Varga, Alexis C. Frazier-Wood, Denise K. Houston, Jari Lahti, Ulrika Ericson, Edith H. Van Den Hooven, Vera Mikkilä, Jessica C. Kiefte-De Jong, Dariush Mozaffarian, Kenneth Rice, Frida Renström, Kari E. North, Nicola M. McKeownMary F. Feitosa, Stavroula Kanoni, Caren E. Smith, Melissa E. Garcia, Anna Maija Tiainen, Emily Sonestedt, Ani Manichaikul, Frank J A Van Rooij, Maria Dimitriou, Olli Raitakari, James S. Pankow, Luc Djoussé, Michael A. Province, Frank B. Hu, Chao Qiang Lai, Margaux F. Keller, Mia Maria Perälä, Jerome I. Rotter, Albert Hofman, Misa Graff, Mika Kähönen, Kenneth Mukamal, Ingegerd Johansson, Jose M. Ordovas, Yongmei Liu, Satu Männistö, André G. Uitterlinden, Panos Deloukas, Ilkka Seppälä, Bruce M. Psaty, L. Adrienne Cupples, Ingrid B. Borecki, Paul W. Franks, Donna K. Arnett, Mike A. Nalls, Johan G. Eriksson, Marju Orho-Melander, Oscar H. Franco, Terho Lehtimäki, George V. Dedoussis, James B. Meigs, David S. Siscovick

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66 Scopus citations


Background: Recent studies suggest that meat intake is associated with diabetes-related phenotypes. However, whether the associations of meat intake and glucose and insulin homeostasis are modified by genes related to glucose and insulin is unknown. Objective: We investigated the associations of meat intake and the interaction of meat with genotype on fasting glucose and insulin concentrations in Caucasians free of diabetes mellitus. Design: Fourteen studies that are part of the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology consortium participated in the analysis. Data were provided for up to 50,345 participants. Using linear regression within studies and a fixed-effects meta-analysis across studies, we examined 1) the associations of processed meat and unprocessed red meat intake with fasting glucose and insulin concentrations; and 2) the interactions of processed meat and unprocessed red meat with genetic risk score related to fasting glucose or insulin resistance on fasting glucose and insulin concentrations. Results: Processed meat was associated with higher fasting glucose, and unprocessed red meat was associated with both higher fasting glucose and fasting insulin concentrations after adjustment for potential confounders [not including body mass index (BMI)]. For every additional 50-g serving of processed meat per day, fasting glucose was 0.021 mmol/L (95% CI: 0.011, 0.030 mmol/L) higher. Every additional 100-g serving of unprocessed red meat per day was associated with a 0.037-mmol/L (95% CI: 0.023, 0.051-mmol/L) higher fasting glucose concentration and a 0.049-ln-pmol/L (95% CI: 0.035, 0.063-ln-pmol/L) higher fasting insulin concentration. After additional adjustment for BMI, observed associations were attenuated and no longer statistically significant. The association of processed meat and fasting insulin did not reach statistical significance after correction for multiple comparisons. Observed associations were not modified by genetic loci known to influence fasting glucose or insulin resistance. Conclusion: The association of higher fasting glucose and insulin concentrations with meat consumption was not modified by an index of glucose- and insulin-related single-nucleotide polymorphisms. Six of the participating studies are registered at as NCT0000513 (Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities), NCT00149435 (Cardiovascular Health Study), NCT00005136 (Family Heart Study), NCT00005121 (Framingham Heart Study), NCT00083369 (Genetics of Lipid Lowering Drugs and Diet Network), and NCT00005487 (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1266-1278
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Society for Nutrition.


  • Diet
  • Gene-diet interaction
  • Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Meat intake
  • Meta-analysis


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