Gaussian graphical models identified food intake networks and risk of type 2 diabetes, CVD, and cancer in the EPIC-Potsdam study
The aim of the study was to investigate the association between the previously identified Gaussian graphical models’ (GGM) food intake networks and risk of major chronic diseases as well as intermediate biomarkers in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and nutrition (EPIC)-Potsdam cohort.
In this cohort analysis of 10,880 men and 13,340 women, adherence to the previously identified sex-specific GGM networks as well as principal component analysis identified patterns was investigated in relation to risk of major chronic diseases, using Cox-proportional hazard models. Associations of the patterns with intermediate biomarkers were cross-sectionally analyzed using multiple linear regressions.
Results showed that higher adherence to the GGM Western-type pattern was associated with increased risk (Hazard Ratio: 1.55; 95% CI 1.13–2.15; P trend = 0.004) of type 2 diabetes (T2D) in women, whereas adherence to a high-fat dairy (HFD) pattern was associated with lower risk of T2D both in men (0.69; 95% CI 0.54–0.89; P trend < 0.001) and women (0.71; 95% CI: 0.53, 0.96; P trend = 0.09). Among PCA patterns, HFD pattern was associated with lower risk of T2D (0.74; 95% CI 0.58–0.95; P trend < 0.001) in men and bread and sausage pattern was associated with higher risk of T2D (1.79; 95% CI 1.29–2.48; P trend < 0.001) in women. Moreover, The GGM-HFD pattern was positively associated with HDL-C in men and inversely associated with C-reactive protein in women.
Overall, these results show that GGM-identified networks reflect dietary patterns, which could also be related to risk of chronic diseases.
KeywordsGaussian graphical models Dietary patterns Networks Western-type Type 2 diabetes Chronic diseases
Gaussian graphical models
European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition
Principal component analysis
High-fat dairy pattern
Type 2 diabetes
High-density lipoprotein cholesterol
Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol
We thank Dr. Manuela Bergmann, Head of the Human Study Centre of the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbrücke for the contribution to the study design and leading the underlying processes of data generation.
The authors’ responsibilities were as follows: (1) KI and HB conceived the idea and designed analysis plan; (2) KI conducted statistical analysis and wrote manuscript (3) SK provided support in statistical analysis and LS provided support in manuscript writing); (4) KI and HB had primary responsibility for final content; (5) AF, CS, MS, CW, CG, SK, and MBS contributed to data interpretation and provided critical comments on the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
EPIC-Potsdam cohort supported by the German Federal Ministry of Science (01 EA 9401), the European Union (SOC 95201408 05F02), and the current study supported by Higher Education Commission of Pakistan and German Academic Exchange Program, Germany (no. 50015451 to KI).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
Authors declare no conflict of interest.
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