Introduction Refined carbohydrates have been suggested to deteriorate glucose metabolism; however, whether persons with elevated intakes of white rice, a major staple food for the Japanese, experience increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes remains unclear. We prospectively investigated the association between white rice intake and risk of type 2 diabetes.
Methods Participants were 25 666 men and 33 622 women aged 45–75 years who participated in the second survey of the Japan Public Health Center-based Prospective Study and had no prior history of diabetes. We ascertained food intake by using a validated 147-item food frequency questionnaire. ORs of self-reported physician-diagnosed type 2 diabetes over 5 years were estimated by using logistic regressions.
Results A total of 1103 new cases of type 2 diabetes were self-reported. Rice intake was significantly associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in women; the multivariate-adjusted OR for the highest compared with lowest quartiles of rice intake was 1.65 (95% CI 1.06 to 2.57; p for trend =0.005). In men, the association was unclear, although there was a suggestion of a positive association among persons who were not engaged in strenuous physical activity (p for trend = 0.08).
Conclusions Elevated intake of white rice is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in Japanese women. The finding suggestive of a positive association of rice intake among physically inactive men deserves further investigation.
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