Diet Quality and Mortality Risk in Metabolically Obese Normal-Weight Adults

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Abstract

Objective:

To examine the associations among the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH)–style diet, the Healthy Eating Index (HEI), and mortality risk in metabolically obese normal-weight (MONW) adults.

Patients and Methods:

Data were from normal-weight (body mass index of 18.5 to <25) adults aged 30 to 90 years at baseline in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, October 18, 1988, through October 15, 1994, followed up for deaths (all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer related) until December 31, 2011. A total of 2103 participants without known cardiovascular disease and cancer at baseline were included in this prospective cohort study. Metabolic obesity was defined as having 2 or more of the following: high glucose, blood pressure, triglyceride, C-reactive protein, and insulin resistance values and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels; metabolic healthy status was defined as having 0 or 1 of these metabolic derangements.

Results:

During median follow-up of 18.6 years, there were 344 and 296 deaths in the MONW and metabolically healthy normal-weight (MHNW) phenotypes, respectively. In MONW individuals, a 1-SD increment in adherence to a DASH diet (2 points) or HEI (14 points) was significantly associated with reductions (17% [hazard ratio (HR), 0.83; 95% CI, 0.72-0.97] and 22% [HR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.68-0.90], respectively) in the risk of all-cause mortality, after adjustment for potential confounders. The corresponding HRs for cardiovascular disease mortality were 0.72 (95% CI, 0.55-0.94) and 0.79 (95% CI, 0.65-0.97), respectively. In addition, reduction of cancer mortality was observed with 1-SD increment of HEI (HR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.46-0.88). However, no association was observed in the MHNW phenotype. Sensitivity analyses suggested relationships robust to different definitions of MONW and also dose responses with the number of metabolic derangements.

Conclusion:

Higher diet quality scores were associated with lower risk of mortality in normal-weight individuals with metabolic abnormalities.

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