Consumption of red and processed meat, insulin resistance, and diabetes in the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil)

Aprelini et al.


To investigate the association between red and processed meat consumption and the occurrence of new cases of insulin resistance (IR) and diabetes mellitus (DM) in participants of the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil).


This cohort study included 15 105 civil servants (age: 35-74 years). Biochemical, anthropometric, and socioeconomic data, as well as lifestyle characteristics, were collected at baseline (2008–2010) and wave 2 (2012–2014). Meat consumption (g/day) was estimated using a food frequency questionnaire. To categorize low, medium, and high consumption, independent variables were divided into tertiles. DM was diagnosed as fasting glucose ≥ 126 mg/dL, postload glucose ≥ 200 mg/dL, or glycated hemoglobin ≥ 6.5. IR was determined 
by HOMA-IR with cutoff points based on the sample’s 75th percentile.


Men and participants with lower income and schooling reported higher consumption of red and processed meat. High consumption of processed meat (highest tertile, > 27.1 g/day) was associated with new cases of IR in men (OR = 1.68; 95%CI: 1.31-2.16) and women (OR = 1.23; 95%CI: 1.00-1>52). High consumption of red meat increased by 40% (95%CI: 1.04-1.96) the likelihood of new cases of DM in men.


High consumption of red/processed meat negatively impacted the health of participants. Moderate consumption of meats may be recommended for the general population and for prevention of DM.

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