Dietary iron to total energy intake ratio and type 2 diabetes incidence in a longitudinal 12-year analysis of the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Cohort Study

Dong Hyuk Jung, Kyeng Won Hong, Byoungjin Park, Yong Jae Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: Recent study found iron consumption has been associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Even though, high iron intake is correlated with total caloric intake, most studies have evaluated the individual effect of iron and total caloric intake. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of iron intake, in conjunction with total energy intake, on developing T2DM. We also investigated the interactions between dietary iron and energy ratios (IERs) and iron-related single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the development of T2DM. Methods: The study was carried out in Ansan and Ansung, Korea, between March 2001 and December 2014. A total of 6413 participants (3073 men and 3340 women), aged 40–69 years, were enrolled in this study. The mean follow-up period was 8.4 years. The study population was divided into quartiles based on IERs with cut-off points at 4.54, 5.41, and 6.29. The odds ratios (ORs) for new-onset T2DM were calculated across each quartile of IERs and a random forest model was constructed using the default settings to predict new-onset T2DM. To confirm the interaction among IERs, SNPs, and the incidence of T2DM, we measured the predictive power of new-onset T2DM using IER and six SNPs in genes related to iron metabolism [rs855791 (TPMRSS6), rs38116479 (TF), rs1799852 (TF), rs2280673, rs1799945 (HFT), rs180562 (HFE)]. Results: The prevalence of T2DM was 762 (11.8%). IERs showed a positive association with T2DM. The ORs were 1.30 (95% CI 1.02–1.67), 1.20 (95% CI 0.94–1.56), and 1.43 (95% CI 1.11–1.86) across the IER quartiles after adjusting for non-dietary and dietary metabolic risk factors. When the IER was 1.89-fold higher than the reference group, the risk of developing T2DM increased by 43% (OR 1.43; 95% CI 1.11–1.86). Conclusion: A higher IER was positively associated with developing T2DM independent of dietary or non-dietary risk factors. We also found the possible interactions between the identified SNPs and iron intake in relations to T2DM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4453-4461
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Data in this study were from the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study (KoGES; 4851-302), National Research Institute of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ministry for Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea. We thank all the staff working at the KoGES. There is no source of supporting to declare.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Dietary iron to total energy intake ratio and type 2 diabetes incidence in a longitudinal 12-year analysis of the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Cohort Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this