Diet quality, change in diet quality and risk of incident CVD and diabetes

Zhe Xu, Lyn M. Steffen, Elizabeth Selvin, Casey M. Rebholz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the prospective association between diet quality, as well as a 6-year change in diet quality, and risk of incident CVD and diabetes in a community-based population.Design: We used Cox regression models to estimate the prospective association between diet quality, assessed using the Healthy Eating Index (HEI)-2015 and the Alternative HEI (AHEI)-2010 scores, as well as change in diet quality, and incident CVD and diabetes.Setting: The ARIC Study recruited 15 792 black and white men and women (45-64 years) from four US communities.Participants: We included 10 808 study participants who reported usual dietary intake via FFQ at visit 1 (1987-1989) and who had not developed CVD, diabetes, or cancer at baseline.Results: Overall, 3070 participants developed CVD (median follow-up of 26 years) and 3452 developed diabetes (median follow-up of 22 years) after visit 1. Higher diet score at the initial visit was associated with a significantly lower risk of CVD (HR per 10 % higher HEI-2015 diet quality score: 0·90 (95 % CI: 0·86, 0·95) and HR per 10 % higher AHEI-2010 diet quality score: 0·96 (95 % CI: 0·93, 0·99)). We did not observe a significant association between initial diet score and incident diabetes. There were no significant associations between change in diet score and CVD or diabetes risk in the overall study population.Conclusions: Higher diet quality assessed using HEI-2015 and AHEI-2010 was strongly associated with lower CVD risk but not diabetes risk within a middle-aged, community-based US population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-338
Number of pages10
JournalPublic health nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Authors.


  • AHEI-2010
  • CVD
  • Diabetes
  • Diet quality
  • HEI-2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Diet quality, change in diet quality and risk of incident CVD and diabetes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this