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Cross-sectional association between diet quality and cardiometabolic risk by education level in Mexican adults

  • Nancy López-Olmedo (a1), Barry M Popkin (a1), Penny Gordon-Larsen (a1) and Lindsey Smith Taillie (a1)



Understanding the association between diet quality and cardiometabolic risk by education level is important for preventing increased cardiometabolic risk in the Mexican population, especially considering pre-existing disparities in diet quality. The present study examined the cross-sectional association of overall diet quality with cardiometabolic risk, overall and by education level, among Mexican men and women.


Cardiometabolic risk was defined by using biomarkers and diet quality by the Mexican Diet Quality Index. We computed sex-specific multivariable logistic regression models.




Mexican men (n 634) and women (n 875) participating in the Mexican National Health and Nutrition Survey 2012.


We did not find associations of diet quality with cardiometabolic risk factors in the total sample or in men by education level. However, we observed that for each 10-unit increase in the dietary quality score, the odds of diabetes risk in women with no reading/writing skills was 0·47 (95 % CI 0·26, 0·85) relative to the odds in women with ≥10 years of school (referent). Similarly, for each 10-unit increase of the dietary quality score, the odds of having three v. no lipid biomarker level beyond the risk threshold in lower-educated women was 0·27 (95 % CI 0·12, 0·63) relative to the odds in higher-educated women.


Diet quality has a stronger protective association with some cardiometabolic disease risk factors for lower- than higher-educated Mexican women, but no association with cardiometabolic disease risk factors among men. Future research will be needed to understand what diet factors could be influencing the cardiometabolic disease risk disparities in this population.


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