Study: Women susceptible to high dietary glycemic load

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Picture of a piece of bread
A French baguette is an example of a high-glycemic food.
Image: DocteurCosmos.

Women who eat "high-glycemic" foods, which cause blood sugar levels to spike, are at risk for coronary disease, according to a large study of Italians published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, a publication of the American Medical Association. In this study men were not affected the same way, but the researchers said that more studies were needed to verify that there is really no association between a high dietary glycemic load and cardiovascular disease in men.

Sabina Sieri of the Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori in Milan, Italy, who led the study, said that "high consumption of carbohydrate from high-glycemic foods, rather than overall quantity of carbohydrate consumed, appears to influence the risk of developing heart disease in women." Sieri added, "It's a good idea for people to choose foods with a lower glycemic index over higher ones."

Sieri and her colleagues studied 47,749 Italian adults (15,171 men and 32,578 women), who were asked to complete dietary questionnaires. Women whose diet had the highest glycemic load had 2.24 times the risk of heart disease.


Sieri S, Krogh V, Berrino F, Evangelista A, Agnoli C, Brighenti F, Pellegrini N, Palli D, Masala G, Sacerdote C, Veglia F, Tumino R, Frasca G, Grioni S, Pala V, Mattiello A, Chiodini P, and Panico S. Dietary Glycemic Load and Index and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in a Large Italian Cohort: The EPICOR Study. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2010; 170:7: 640-647.