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BACKGROUND: The effect of the overall diet quality on cardiometabolic diseases has been well studied in the Western population. However, evidence is still in need regarding dietary patterns depicting unique Chinese dietary habits and their associations with cardiometabolic diseases. METHODS: A prospective cohort recruited around 0.5 million Chinese residents aged 30-79 years from 10 diverse survey sites during 2004-08. Dietary patterns were obtained using factor analysis based on the habitual consumption of 12 food groups collected at baseline. Among 477,465 eligible participants free of prior heart disease, stroke and cancer, linkages to multiple registries and health insurance database recorded 137,715 cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and 17,412 diabetes cases (among 451,846 non-diabetic participants) until 31 December 2017. Adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) were estimated to compare the risks of cardiometabolic diseases across quintiles of dietary pattern scores using the Cox regression. RESULTS: Two dietary patterns were derived: the traditional northern pattern, characterised by wheat, other staples, egg and dairy products; and the modern pattern, featured with fresh fruit, meat, poultry, fish, dairy products and soybean. Adherence to either dietary pattern was associated with lower risks of major cardiometabolic diseases in a dose-response relationship way. After multivariate adjustment, participants adhering to the traditional northern pattern the most had an 8% (95%CI: 5-11%) lower risk of CVD in comparison with those adhering the least. Corresponding risk reductions were 12% (11-32%) for haemorrhagic stroke (HS), 14% (8-19%) for ischaemic stroke (IS), and 15% (6-24%) for diabetes, respectively. When comparing extreme quintiles of the modern pattern, the adjusted HR of HS was 0.67 (95%CI: 0.59-0.77). Corresponding HRs were 0.89 (0.86-0.92) for CVD, 0.88 (0.77-0.99) for MCE, 0.85 (0.80-0.89) for IS, and 0.89 (0.81, 0.97) for diabetes. CONCLUSION: Among Chinese adults, both traditional northern and modern dietary patterns were associated with lower risks of cardiovascular disease and diabetes beyond other risk factors.

Original publication




Journal article


Nutr J

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Cardiovascular disease, Cohort, Diabetes, Dietary pattern