Over an average of 8.8 years, we evaluated 37,309 participants in the Women's Health Study aged >/=45 years who were free of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes and completed validated semi quantitative food frequency questionnaires in 1993.
After adjusting for age, BMI, total energy intake, exercise, alcohol intake, cigarette smoking, and family history of diabetes, we found positive associations between intakes of red meat and processed meat and risk of type 2 diabetes. Comparing women in the highest quintile with those in the lowest quintile, the multivariate-adjusted relative risks (RRs) of type 2 diabetes were 1.28 for red meat (95% CI 1.07-1.53, P < 0.001 for trend) and 1.23 for processed meat intake (1.05-1.45, P = 0.001 for trend). Furthermore, the significantly increased diabetes risk appeared to be most pronounced for frequent consumption of total processed meat (RR 1.43, 95% CI 1.17-1.75 for >/=5/week vs. <1/month, P < 0.001 for trend).
A prospective study of red meat consumption and type 2 diabetes in middle-aged and elderly women: the women's health study