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Dietary Glycemic Load linked to risk for heart disease in women

High dietary glycemic load and carbohydrate intake from high-glycemic index foods are associated with an increased overall risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) in women but not in men.

This was according to the results of a large, Italian cohort study. In this study, dietary glycemic load and glycemic index in relation to cardiovascular disease have been investigated in a few prospective studies with inconsistent results, particularly in men.

The study cohort consisted of 47,749 volunteers (15,171 men and 32,578 women) who completed a dietary questionnaireand were followed up for a median of 7.9 years. Of 463 patients with CHD identified during follow-up, 158 were women and 305 were men. Compared with women in the lowest quartile of carbohydrate intake, those in the highest carbohydrate intake quartile had a significantly greater risk for CHD, an association not observed in men.

“High dietary glycemic load and carbohydrate intake from high-glycemic index foods increase the overall risk of CHD in women but not men,” wrote Sabina Sieri, PhD, and colleagues.

“We tentatively suggest that the adverse effects of a high glycemic diet in women are mediated by sex-related differences in lipoprotein and glucose metabolism, but further prospective studies are required to verify a lack of association of a high dietary glycemic load with cardiovascular disease (CVD) in men,” the study authors concluded.

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