Type 2 Diabetes in Men

Published: 2021-06-29 07:09:29
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Citation: Rob M. van Dam, MSc; Eric B. Rimm, ScD; Walter C. Willett, MD; Meir J. Stampfer, MD; and Frank B. Hu, MD., Dietary Patterns and Risk for Type 2 Diabetes Mallitus in U.S. Men. Annals of Internal Medicine, Volume 136, Number 3, pg. 201-209.
I. Background
a. What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease in which the body produces an insufficient amount of insulin, or none at all, resulting in hyperglycemia (elevated glucose levels in the blood stream). Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreases and is essential for converting food into energy. The food we eat is broken down into glucose, which is essentially sugar in our blood. The cells in our body pick up the glucose in our blood stream and use it for energy and growth. However, in order for glucose to successfully enter the cells, insulin needs to be present. Analogous to this situation is a man trying to get into a locked room. The man would be glucose, the locked room would be our cells, and the absent key would be insulin. Without insulin, glucose would pass through our body without ever being converted into energy, and our cells would starve to death.
b. Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
There are three types of classification for diabetes: type 1 diabetes, types 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is most common and is characterized by insulin resistance, in which insulin in the body becomes less effective at lowering the glucose levels in the blood. Unlike type 1 diabetes, a disease one is born with where the body cannot produce insulin, type 2 diabetes usually develops in adults. Development of type 2 diabetes in adults have been linked to lifestyle choices, dietary patterns, and genetics.
II. Dietary Patterns and Risk for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in U.S. Men
a. Summary
The objective of the study was to examine the link between major dietary pattern and the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Prior to this article, other studies examining the causes of type 2 diabetes could not separate the effects of diet from those of other risk factors, leaving the role of diet in the development of type 2 diabetes relatively unknown. Using a prospective cohort study design, 42, 504 male health professionals, without diagnosed diabetes, cardio vascular disease, or cancer, were given a 131-item semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire in 1986, 1990, and 1994. Every 2 years the participants were requested to give a medical update of any recent diagnosed diseases. Using a factor analysis based on the food questionnaires, the authors identified two major dietary patterns which they labeled "prudent" and "western". The "prudent" diet is characterized by higher consumption of vegatables, fruit, fish, poultry and whole grains. The "western" diet is characterized by a higher consumption of red meat, processed meat, French Fries, high-fat dairy products, refined grains, and sweets and deserts. The study was then adjusted for potential cofounders including body mass index (BMI), exercise, cigarette smoking, alcohol intake, and family history for diabetes.
b. Results
During the 12 year study, out of the 42, 502 participants, 1,321 were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The prudent diet pattern scores were linked to modestly low risk for type 2 diabetes, while the western diet pattern scores were linked to a relatively high risk of type 2 diabetes. The high risk for type 2 diabetes increased when the western diet was coupled with low physical activity and/or obesity. In the aggregate, the results of the study suggest that a western diatary pattern is associated with a substantial risk for type 2 diabetes in men.

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