Huang M, Lo K, Li J, Allison M, Wu WC and Liu S. 2021. Pasta meal intake in relation to risks of type 2 diabetes and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women: findings from the Women’s Health Initiative. BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health. 2020.


  • This prospective cohort study evaluated the association between pasta meal intake and long-term risk of developing diabetes or atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI).
  • They found significantly reduced risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), stroke, CHD and no significant alteration in diabetes risk in the highest quartile of residual pasta meal intake compared to the lowest quartile.
  • The potential benefit of substituting pasta meal for other commonly consumed starchy foods on cardiometabolic outcomes warrants further investigation in additional high-quality and large prospective studies of diverse populations.


  • Total intake of pasta meal in this study was measured by summing the semi-quantitative intake frequencies of pasta meals, which had other commonly used ingredients such as cheese or tomato.
  • Data were collected via FFQ, therefore there was no information on the proportion of pasta content within a specific pasta meal, and how much the additional ingredients of the meal may influence its association with cardiometabolic outcomes.
  • The overall consumption of pasta meal was relatively low (average of 1 serving/week), which may have partially influenced the observed lack of association with diabetes risk.


  • Do you think these findings are reproducible in other populations?

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