British Journal of Nutrition

Cambridge Journals Online - CUP Full-Text Page
British Journal of Nutrition (2010), 103:1049-1055 Cambridge University Press
Copyright © The Authors 2009

Full Papers

Dietary Surveys and Nutritional Epidemiology

Dietary glycaemic index, dietary glycaemic load and incidence of myocardial infarction in women

Emily B. Levitana1a2 c1, Murray A. Mittlemana2a3 and Alicja Wolka4

a1 Department of Epidemiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, RPHB 230K, 1530 3rd Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35294-0022, USA
a2 Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Unit, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA 02215, USA
a3 Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA
a4 Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm SE-171 77, Sweden
Article author query
levitan eb [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
mittleman ma [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
wolk a [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]


The association of dietary glycaemic index (GI) and glycaemic load (GL) with CVD has been examined in several populations with varying results. We tested the hypothesis that women with diets high in GI or GL would have higher rates of myocardial infarction (MI), and the associations would be stronger in overweight women. We measured dietary GI and GL in 36 234 Swedish Mammography Cohort participants aged 48–83 years using FFQ. Cox models were used to calculate incidence rate ratios (RR) and 95 % CI for hospitalisation or death due to MI assessed using the Swedish inpatient and cause-of-death registers from 1 January 1998 until 31 December 2006. Over 9 years of follow-up, 1138 women were hospitalised or died due to a first MI. In multivariable-adjusted models, the RR comparing top to bottom quartile of dietary GI were 1·12 (95 % CI 0·92, 1·35, P-trend = 0·24), and the RR comparing top to bottom quartile of dietary GL were 1·22 (95 % CI 0·90, 1·65, P-trend = 0·23). Among overweight women, the RR comparing top to bottom quartile of dietary GI were 1·20 (95 % CI 0·91, 1·58, P-trend = 0·22), and the RR comparing top to bottom quartile of dietary GL were 1·45 (95 % CI 0·93, 2·25, P-trend = 0·16). There were no statistically significant associations of dietary GI or GL with MI in this population.

(Received July 08 2009)

(Revised September 28 2009)

(Accepted October 05 2009)

(Online publication December 14 2009)

Key Words:Glycaemic index; Glycaemic load; Myocardial infarction


c1 Corresponding author: Emily B. Levitan, fax +1 205 934 8665, email


Abbreviations: GI, glycaemic index; GL, glycaemic load; MI, myocardial infarction; RR, rate ratio