Consumption of red meat, genetic susceptibility, and risk of LADA and type 2 diabetes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: Red meat consumption is positively associated with type 1 (T1D) and type 2 (T2D) diabetes. We investigated if red meat consumption increases the risk of latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) and T2D, and potential interaction with family history of diabetes (FHD), HLA and TCF7L2 genotypes. Methods: Analyses were based on Swedish case–control data comprising incident cases of LADA (n = 465) and T2D (n = 1528) with matched, population-based controls (n = 1789; n = 1553 in genetic analyses). Multivariable-adjusted ORs in relation to self-reported processed and unprocessed red meat intake were estimated by conditional logistic regression models. Attributable proportion (AP) due to interaction was used to assess departure from additivity of effects. Results: Consumption of processed red meat was associated with increased risk of LADA (per one servings/day OR 1.27, 95% CI 1.07–1.52), whereas no association was observed for unprocessed red meat. For T2D, there was no association with red meat intake once BMI was taken into account. The combination of high (> 0.3 servings/day vs. less) processed red meat intake and high-risk HLA-DQB1 and -DRB1 genotypes yielded OR 8.05 (95% CI 4.86–13.34) for LADA, with indications of significant interaction (AP 0.53, 95% CI 0.32–0.73). Results were similar for the combination of FHD-T1D and processed red meat. No interaction between processed red meat intake and FHD-T2D or risk variants of TCF7L2 was seen in relation to LADA or T2D. Conclusion: Consumption of processed but not unprocessed red meat may increase the risk of LADA, especially in individuals with FHD-T1D or high-risk HLA genotypes.


  • Josefin E. Löfvenborg
  • Emma Ahlqvist
  • Lars Alfredsson
  • Tomas Andersson
  • Leif Groop
  • Tiinamaija Tuomi
  • Alicja Wolk
  • Sofia Carlsson
External organisations
  • Karolinska Institutet
  • Stockholm County Council
  • Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM)
  • Helsinki University Central Hospital
  • Folkhälsan Research Center
  • University of Helsinki
  • Helsinki University of Technology
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Endocrinology and Diabetes


  • Family history, HLA, Interaction, Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults, Red meat intake, TCF7L2
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020 May 22
Publication categoryResearch