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Coffee drinking tied to metabolic syndrome risk in type 1 diabetes

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February 11, 2018

Adults with type 1 diabetes who consume at least 5 cups of coffee per day have an increased risk for metabolic syndrome compared with those who drink less, according to researchers.

Per-Henrik Groop, MD, PhD, professor of nephrology at the University of Helsinki in Finland, and colleagues evaluated data from the Finnish Diabetic Nephropathy Study on 1,040 adults with type 1 diabetes to determine potential associations between coffee consumption and metabolic syndrome.

Participants were divided into four groups based on coffee consumption: non-consumers (< 1 cup per day; n = 134; 34.3% men; mean age, 40 years; mean diabetes duration, 21 years), low consumers (1 cup to < 3 cups per day; n = 230; 32.2% men; mean age, 46 years; mean diabetes duration, 30 years), moderate consumers (≥ 3 cups to < 5 cups per day; n = 371; 45% men; mean age, 48 years; mean diabetes duration, 27 years) or high consumers (≥ 5 cups per day; n = 305; 59.7% men; mean age, 49 years; mean diabetes duration, 29 years).

Coffee cup and beans
The risk for metabolic syndrome is increased in adults with type 1 diabetes who consume at least 5 cups of coffee per day.

Frequency of metabolic syndrome increased with increasing coffee consumption with the lowest rate in non-consumers (51%) followed by low consumers (64%), moderate consumers (65%) and high consumers (70%). Odds of metabolic syndrome were higher in the moderate and high consumer groups compared with the non-consumer group in the logistic regression analysis adjusted for age, sex, energy intake, alcohol intake, physical activity and smoking. Any level of coffee consumption was associated with increased odds of hypertension, the blood pressure component of metabolic syndrome. Mean estimated glomerular filtration rate increased with increasing coffee consumption, whereas no differences were observed between the groups for estimated glucose disposal rate or high-sensitivity C-reactive protein.

“Moderate and high coffee consumption is associated with an increased risk of metabolic syndrome, while any level of coffee consumption is associated with higher odds or fulfilling the blood pressure-component of [metabolic syndrome],” the researchers wrote. “Moreover, increasing coffee intake is associated with higher eGFR. Whether habitual coffee consumption will have any negative or beneficial effects on health outcomes, in this population of patients with type 1 diabetes, will be assessed in future studies.” – by Amber Cox

Disclosures: Groop reports he received grants from Eli Lilly and Roche; is an advisory board member for AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Cebix, Eli Lilly, Janssen, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Medscape, Novartis, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi; and has received lecture fees from AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly, Elo Water, Genzyme, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Novartis, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.

itj+ Perspective

Susan March

The authors recognize limitations of this cross-sectional analysis, but I offer another. There is no mention of the additions (or lack thereof) of cream, milk, dairy substitutes and/or sugar to the coffee quantified in the study. This can definitely influence the results. All data are self-reported, and although the authors indicate that the data are controlled for a number of possible confounding factors, including smoking and physical activity, it is necessary to mention in the study’s conclusions that what participants put in their coffee was not one of those factors.

While it appears that this is just the beginning of this examination of health outcomes for people with type 1 diabetes who drink coffee, going forward it is important to account for this possible confounding factor when it comes to cardiovascular health, particularly as related to hypertension.

A 2013 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that drinking regular coffee without sugar lowered risk for type 2 diabetes by 8% in women who took part in the Nurses’ Health Study and by 4% for men from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study; men who drank decaf also lowered their risk by 7% (Bhupathiraju SN, et al. doi:10.3945/ajcn.112.048603). Sugar in beverages increased the risk.

Susan Burke March, MEd, RDN, LD/N, CDE

Registered and Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator

Disclosure: March reports no relevant financial disclosures.