Association of adherence to a Mediterranean diet with glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in youth with type I diabetes: the SEARCH Nutrition Ancillary Study

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This study aimed to determine the association between a Mediterranean diet and glycemic control and other cardiovascular risk factors among youth with type I diabetes (TID).


Incident TID cases aged <20 years at diagnosis between 2002 and 2005 were included. Participants were seen at baseline (N = 793), 1-year (N = 512) and 5-year follow-up visits (N = 501). Mediterranean diet score was assessed using a modified KIDMED index (mKIDMED). Multivariate linear regression and longitudinal mixed model were applied to determine the association between mKIDMED score and log-HbA1c, lipids, blood pressure (BP) and obesity.


In cross-sectional analyses using baseline data, for individuals with the hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) of 7.5%, a two-point higher mKIDMED score (1 s.d.) was associated with 0.15% lower HbA1c (P = 0.02). A two-point higher mKIDMED score was associated with 4.0 mg/dl lower total cholesterol (TC) (P = 0.006), 3.4 mg/dl lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (P = 0.004), 3.9 mg/dl lower non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-C) (P = 0.004) and 0.07 lower LDL-C/HDL-C ratio (P = 0.02). Using longitudinal data, a two-point increase in mKIDMED score was associated with 0.01% lower log-HbA1c (P = 0.07), 1.8 mg/dl lower TC (P = 0.05), 1.6 mg/dl lower LDL-C (P = 0.03) and 1.8 mg/dl lower non-HDL-C (P = 0.03) than would otherwise have been expected. HbA1c mediated ˜20% of the association for lipids in both cross-sectional and longitudinal models. An unexpected positive association between mKIDMED score and systolic BP was found among non-Hispanic white youth in cross-sectional analyses (P = 0.009). Mediterranean diet was not associated with obesity.


Mediterranean diet may improve glycemic control and cardiovascular health in TID youth.

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