Higher consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) is associated with lower mortality risk in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to an observational study in the BMJ.
Using the Nurses Health’ Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, researchers identified roughly 11,000 people with type 2 diabetes and examined their diets with food-frequency questionnaires.
People in the highest quartile of PUFA intake had lower risk for cardiovascular mortality (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.76) and all-cause mortality (0.68), compared with those in the lowest quartile. For total mortality, results were significant for both marine omega-3 PUFAs and linoleic acid. For cardiovascular mortality, only fish-derived fatty acids conferred a benefit.
Meanwhile, those in the highest quartile of animal-derived monounsaturated fatty acids (e.g., red meat, dairy) had higher risk for total mortality (HR, 1.23) relative to the lowest quartile.
The authors conclude: “Our results suggest that dietary PUFAs, in replacement of saturated fatty acids or carbohydrates, may facilitate long term survival among adults with type 2 diabetes.”