December 30, 2019
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Dietary Inflammatory Index predicts diabetes severity

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Dana King
Dana E. King

A higher score on the Dietary Inflammatory Index — indicating a more proinflammatory diet — had a significant association with diabetes, according to a new study.

The association with diabetes was even stronger when a patient’s HbA1c was greater than 9%, researchers also wrote in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

The Dietary Inflammatory Index is a tool that measures the impact of different types of food and nutrients on inflammatory biomarkers, according to Dana E. King, MD, MS, and Jun Xiang, MS, MA, of the department of family medicine at West Virginia University. They evaluated the association between the tool and diabetes during a cross-sectional analysis of 4,434 adults (mean age, 49.4 years; mean BMI, 29.3 kg/m2, and mean Diabetes Inflammatory Index, 0.65). Of the participants, 14.1% had diabetes and 26.5% had prediabetes.

King and Xiang found that the mean Diabetes Inflammatory Index score in the adults with diabetes was 0.79. The score in those without diabetes was 0.5. In addition, patients with HbA1c higher than 9% had significantly higher Dietary Inflammatory Index scores compared with those with HbA1c from 6.5% to 9% (1.37 vs. 0.54), and those with HbA1c of 6.5% or lower (1.37 vs. 0.5). Researchers also found that a one-point increase in Diabetes Inflammatory Index score increased the odds of diabetes by 13%. Among the adults with diabetes, each one-point increase in the Dietary Inflammatory Index score increased the odds of having HbA1c higher than 9% by 43%.

“Our study confirmed that the Dietary Inflammatory Index is strongly associated with the severity of diabetes — the more ‘inflammatory’ a patient’s diet, the more severe their diabetes is likely to be,” King told Healio Primary Care. “Hopefully, the findings will prompt primary care doctors to ask even more questions about intake of refined and sugary foods in their patients with diabetes, especially those patients with higher levels of HbA1c.” – by Janel Miller

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.