This study aimed to examine the association between the incidence of type 2 diabetes and various risk factors including dietary patterns based on the rigorous proportional hazards assumption tests. Data for 3335 female subjects aged 40–69 years from the Korea Genome and Epidemiology Study were used. The assumption of proportional hazards was tested using the scaled Schoenfeld test. The stratified Cox regression was used to adjust the nonproportionality of diabetic risk factors, and the regression was adjusted for potential confounding variables, such as age, marital status, physical activity, drinking, smoking, BMI, etc. Metabolic syndrome and meat and fish pattern variables were positively associated with diabetes. However, dietary patterns and metabolic syndrome variables violated the proportional hazards assumption; therefore, the stratified Cox regression with the interaction terms was applied to adjust the nonproportionality and to allow the possible different parameters over each stratum. The highest quartile of meat and fish pattern was associated with diabetes only in subjects aged over 60 years. Moreover, subjects who were obese and had metabolic syndrome had higher risk in bread and snacks (HR: 1.85; 95% CI: 1.00–3.40) and meat and fish pattern (HR: 1.82; 95% CI: 1.01–3.26), respectively. In conclusion, a quantitative proportional hazards assumption test should always be conducted before the use of Cox regression because nonproportionality of risk factors could induce limited effect on diabetes incidence.
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