Abstract 20256: Low-Carbohydrate Diet Scores, Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke in Men
Introduction: Low-carbohydrate diets remain popular for weight loss. There is currently little long-term data on their relationships with cardiovascular disease. Objective: To compare the associations of several low-carbohydrate diet scores with the risk of fatal and non-fatal coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke.
Methods: Men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study free of diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer (n=41,859) in 1986 were followed for ≤ 20 years. Three low-carbohydrate diet scores were derived from food frequency questionnaires every 4 years: (1) a low-carbohydrate high-total protein/fat score, (2) a low-carbohydrate high-animal protein/fat score, and (3) a low-carbohydrate high-vegetable protein/fat score. Scores were calculated by summing decile ranks (1 to 10 for increasing intake) of protein and fat with inverted decile ranks of carbohydrate (10 to 1 for increasing intake). Each score had a maximum value of 30. Cox proportional hazard models were used to determine CHD and stroke risk across score quintiles.
Results: During follow-up, there were 3124 cases of fatal and non-fatal CHD, and 1122 strokes (ischemic and hemorrhagic). After adjustment for age, smoking, physical activity, BMI, coffee intake, alcohol intake, family history of diabetes and total energy, the high-animal protein/fat score was positively and significantly associated with CHD (HR=1.16, 95% CI: 1.03-1.31 for top vs bottom quintile; p for trend < 0.01) whereas the high-vegetable protein/fat score was inversely associated with CHD (HR=0.87, 95% CI: 0.78-0.98, p for trend = 0.02). The high-animal protein/fat score was no longer significantly associated with CHD after adjusting for red and processed meat. The low-carbohydrate diet scores were not significantly associated with stroke.
Conclusions: Low-carbohydrate diets that are high in animal protein and fat may increase the risk of CHD, whereas low-carbohydrate diets high in vegetable protein and fat may reduce the risk of CHD.
- © 2010 by American Heart Association, Inc.