OBJECTIVE: Islet autoimmunity is associated with diabetes incidence. We investigated whether there was an interaction between dietary fish intake or plasma phospholipid n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) concentration with the 65-kDa isoform of GAD (GAD65) antibody positivity on the risk of developing adult-onset diabetes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We used prospective data on 11,247 incident cases of adult-onset diabetes and 14,288 noncases from the EPIC-InterAct case-cohort study conducted in eight European countries. Baseline plasma samples were analyzed for GAD65 antibodies and phospholipid n-3 PUFAs. Adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for incident diabetes in relation to GAD65 antibody status and tertiles of plasma phospholipid n-3 PUFA or fish intake were estimated using Prentice-weighted Cox regression. Additive (proportion attributable to interaction [AP]) and multiplicative interactions between GAD65 antibody positivity (≥65 units/mL) and low fish/n-3 PUFA were assessed.
RESULTS: The hazard of diabetes in antibody-positive individuals with low intake of total and fatty fish, respectively, was significantly elevated (HR 2.52 [95% CI 1.76-3.63] and 2.48 [1.79-3.45]) compared with people who were GAD65 antibody negative and had high fish intake, with evidence of additive (AP 0.44 [95% CI 0.16-0.72] and 0.48 [0.24-0.72]) and multiplicative (P = 0.0465 and 0.0103) interactions. Individuals with high GAD65 antibody levels (≥167.5 units/mL) and low total plasma phospholipid n-3 PUFAs had a more than fourfold higher hazard of diabetes (HR 4.26 [2.70-6.72]) and an AP of 0.46 (0.12-0.80) compared with antibody-negative individuals with high n-3 PUFAs.
CONCLUSIONS: High fish intake or relative plasma phospholipid n-3 PUFA concentrations may partially counteract the increased diabetes risk conferred by GAD65 antibody positivity.