Circulating and Dietary Trans Fatty Acids and Incident Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Older Adults: The Cardiovascular Health Study. Academic Article uri icon


  • To investigate the effects of trans fatty acids (TFAs) on type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) by specific TFA subtype or method of assessment.In the Cardiovascular Health Study, plasma phospholipid trans (t)-16:1n9, t-18:1, and cis (c)/t-, t/c-, and t/t-18:2 were measured in blood drawn from 2,919 adults aged 74 ± 5 years and free of prevalent DM in 1992. Dietary TFA was estimated among 4,207 adults free of prevalent DM when dietary questionnaires were initially administered in 1989 or 1996. Incident DM was defined through 2010 by medication use or blood glucose levels. Risks were assessed by Cox proportional hazards.In biomarker analyses, 287 DM cases occurred during 30,825 person-years. Both t-16:1n9 (extreme quartile hazard ratio 1.59 [95% CI 1.04-2.42], P-trend = 0.04) and t-18:1 (1.91 [1.20-3.03], P-trend = 0.01) levels were associated with higher incident DM after adjustment for de novo lipogenesis fatty acids. In dietary analyses, 407 DM cases occurred during 50,105 person-years. Incident DM was positively associated with consumption of total TFAs (1.38 [1.03-1.86], P-trend = 0.02), t-18:1 (1.32 [1.00-1.76], P-trend = 0.04), and t-18:2 (1.41 [1.05-1.89], P-trend = 0.02). After further adjustment for other dietary habits, however, the associations of estimated dietary TFA with DM were attenuated, and only nonsignificant positive trends remained.Among older adults, plasma phospholipid t-16:1n9 and t-18:1 levels were positively related to DM after adjustment for de novo lipogenesis fatty acids. Estimated dietary TFA was not significantly associated with DM. These findings highlight the need for further observational, interventional, and experimental studies of the effects TFA on DM.© 2015 by the American Diabetes Association. Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered.

publication date

  • March 2015