Low-carbohydrate diets and mortality risk

January 01, 0001

Low-carbohydrate diets and mortality risk

These authors from the US and Singapore examined the association of low-carbohydrate diets with mortality during 26 years of follow-up in women and 20 years in men. They accessed data from the Nurses' Health Study and Health Professionals' Follow-up Study, prospective cohort studies of women and men who were followed until 2006, including 85,168 women aged 34 to 59 years at baseline from 1980 and 44,548 men aged 40 to 75 years at baseline from 1986. Participants were without heart disease or cancer at enrollment. Low- carbohydrate diets, either animal-based (emphasizing animal sources of fat and protein) or vegetable-based (emphasizing vegetable sources of fat and protein), were computed from several validated food-frequency questionnaires assessed during follow-up. Investigators documented 12,555 deaths (2458 cardiovascular-related and 5780 cancer-related) in women and 8678 deaths (2746 cardiovascular-related and 2960 cancer-related) in men.

They found: "The overall low-carbohydrate score was associated with a modest increase in overall mortality in a pooled analysis (HR comparing extreme deciles, 1.12). The animal low-carbohydrate score was associated with higher all-cause mortality (pooled HR comparing extreme deciles, 1.23), cardiovascular mortality (corresponding HR, 1.14), and cancer mortality (corresponding HR, 1.28). In contrast, a higher vegetable low-carbohydrate score was associated with lower all-cause mortality (HR, 0.80) and cardiovascular mortality (HR, 0.77)."

The authors concluded: "A low-carbohydrate diet based on animal sources was associated with higher all-cause mortality in both men and women, whereas a vegetable-based low-carbohydrate diet was associated with lower all- cause and cardiovascular disease mortality rates."

There are important differences in mortality risk between low-carbohydrate diet approaches based animal or vegetable sources of fats and proteins.

For the full abstract, click here.

Annals of Internal Medicine 153(5):289-298, 7 September 2010
© 2010 to the American College of Physicians
Low-Carbohydrate Diets and All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality-Two Cohort Studies. Teresa T. Fung, Rob M. van Dam, Susan E. Hankinson, Meir Stampfer, Walter C. Willett, and Frank B. Hu. Correspondence to Dr. Fung: [email protected]

Category: T. Endocrine/Metabolic/Nutritional. Keywords: diet, low-carbohydrate, protein, fat, animal sources, vegetable sources, mortality, cohort study, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Linda French, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 21 September 2010

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