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Prepregnancy dietary protein intakes, major dietary protein sources and risk of gestational diabetes mellitus: a prospective cohort study

Thursday, October 11, 2012 — Poster Session III

10:00 a.m. – Noon

Natcher Conference Center, Building 45




  • W Bao
  • K Bowers
  • D.K. Tobias
  • F.B. Hu
  • C Zhang


Background: Dietary protein is an important modulator of glucose metabolism. Studies on the association between dietary protein intake and the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) are sparse. Methods: We prospectively observed 15,294 women who reported at least one singleton live birth and were free of chronic disease or history of GDM at baseline in the Nurses’ Health Study II. Results: During 10 years of follow-up, 870 incident GDM pregnancies were reported among 21,457 eligible singleton births. Animal protein intake was associated with higher risk of GDM; the multivariate-adjusted RR comparing highest vs. lowest quintile was 1.62 (95% CI 1.12-2.34). The substitution of 5% energy from vegetable protein for animal protein was associated with a significantly lower risk of GDM. For major dietary sources, red meat consumption was associated with an elevated risk of GDM (RR 2.00, 95% CI 1.50-2.67), whereas nut consumption was associated with a lower risk (RR 0.73, 95% CI 0.56-0.96). The substitution of red meat with poultry, fish, low-fat dairy, nuts or legumes showed a significantly lower risk of GDM. Conclusions: The risk of GDM was positively associated with animal protein intake, specifically red meat, but negatively associated with consumption of vegetable protein, in particular nut.

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