W.H. and T.H. contributed equally.

OBJECTIVE

In this study we investigated the association of the quantity, quality, and timing of carbohydrate intake with all-cause, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and diabetes mortality.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS

This secondary data analysis included use of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2003–2014) and National Death Index data from adults (n = 27,623) for examination of the association of total daily and differences in carbohydrate intake with mortality. Participants were categorized into four carbohydrate intake patterns based on the median values of daily high- and low-quality carbohydrate intake. The differences (Δ) in carbohydrate intake between dinner and breakfast were calculated (Δ = dinner − breakfast). Cox regression models were used.

RESULTS

The participants who consumed more high-quality carbohydrates throughout the day had lower all-cause mortality risk (hazard ratio [HR] 0.88; 95% CI 0.79–0.99), whereas more daily intake of low-quality carbohydrates was related to greater all-cause mortality risk (HR 1.13; 95% CI: 1.01–1.26). Among participants whose daily high- and low-quality carbohydrate intake were both below the median, the participants who consumed more high-quality carbohydrates at dinner had lower CVD (HR 0.70; 95% CI 0.52–0.93) and all-cause mortality (HR 0.82; 95% CI 0.70–0.97) risk; an isocaloric substitution of 1 serving low-quality carbohydrates intake at dinner with high-quality reduced the CVD and all-cause mortality risks by 25% and 19%. There was greater diabetes mortality among the participants who consumed more low-quality carbohydrates at dinner (HR 1.78; 95% CI 1.02–3.11), although their daily high-quality carbohydrate intake was above the median.

CONCLUSIONS

Consuming more low-quality carbohydrates at dinner was associated with greater diabetes mortality, whereas consuming more high-quality carbohydrates at dinner was associated with lower all-cause and CVD mortality irrespective of the total daily quantity and quality of carbohydrates.

This article contains supplementary material online at https://doi.org/10.2337/figshare.20812993.

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