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Invited Commentary
July 22, 2013

Oxygen-Carrying Proteins in Meat and Risk of Diabetes Mellitus

Author Affiliations
  • 1Muscle Metabolism Discovery Unit, GlaxoSmithKline, and Division of Geriatrics, Department of Medicine, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(14):1335-1336. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.7399

The article by Pan et al1 confirms previous observations that the consumption of so-called red meat is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). While previous studies have been cross-sectional in nature, the present study demonstrated that a relatively short-term (4-year) increase in red meat consumption is associated with subsequent risk, even in individuals who initially consumed low amounts of red meat. The authors demonstrated that consuming more red meat is also associated with weight gain, and a statistical adjustment for change in body weight attenuates but does not eliminate the risk, indicating that increased weight is not the only cause of a greater risk of T2DM associated with red meat consumption. The data in this article are valuable for those considering strategies to decrease the risk of developing T2DM.

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