Dietary glycemic index, dietary glycemic load, blood lipids, and C-reactive protein

  • Emily B. Levitan
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 617 667 3172; fax: +1 617 632 7698.
    Affiliations
    Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Unit, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA 02215, USA
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  • Nancy R. Cook
    Affiliations
    Division of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA

    Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA

    Donald W. Reynolds Center for Cardiovascular Research, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA

    Leducq Center for Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA
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  • Meir J. Stampfer
    Affiliations
    Division of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA

    Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA

    Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA

    Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA
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  • Paul M. Ridker
    Affiliations
    Division of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA

    Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA

    Donald W. Reynolds Center for Cardiovascular Research, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA

    Leducq Center for Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA

    Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA
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  • Kathryn M. Rexrode
    Affiliations
    Division of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA

    Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA
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  • Julie E. Buring
    Affiliations
    Division of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA

    Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA

    Donald W. Reynolds Center for Cardiovascular Research, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA

    Leducq Center for Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA

    Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA
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  • JoAnn E. Manson
    Affiliations
    Division of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA

    Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA

    Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA
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  • Simin Liu
    Affiliations
    Division of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA

    Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA

    Department of Epidemiology, Program on Genomics and Nutrition, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA

    Department of Medicine, Program on Genomics and Nutrition, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
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      Abstract

      Carbohydrate quantity and quality may influence the risk of cardiovascular disease through blood lipid concentrations and inflammation. We measured dietary glycemic index (GI) and dietary glycemic load (GL) among 18137 healthy women ≥45 years old without diagnosed diabetes using a food-frequency questionnaire. We assayed fasting total, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol; LDL/HDL cholesterol ratio; triacylglycerols (TG); and C-reactive protein (CRP). We evaluated associations with dietary GI and GL using a cross-sectional design, adjusting for age, body mass index, lifestyle factors, and other dietary factors. Dietary GI was significantly associated with HDL and LDL cholesterol, LDL/HDL cholesterol ratio, TG, and CRP (comparing top to bottom quintile difference in HDL cholesterol = −2.6 mg/dL, LDL cholesterol = 2.2 mg/dL, LDL/HDL cholesterol ratio = 0.16, TG = 12 mg/dL, and CRP = 0.21 mg/L). Dietary GL was associated with HDL cholesterol, LDL/HDL cholesterol ratio, and TG (comparing top to bottom quintile HDL cholesterol = −4.9 mg/dL, LDL/HDL cholesterol ratio = 0.24, and TG = 13 mg/dL). Differences in blood lipids and CRP between extreme quintiles of dietary GI and GL were small, but may translate into a clinically meaningful difference in cardiovascular risk.
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