(HealthDay News) — Women who consume high amounts of meat, fish, eggs, and other common foods rich in several different types of fatty acids may face a greater risk for type 2 diabetes, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, held from Sept. 12 to 16 in Munich.

Guy Fagherazzi, Ph.D., and Courtney Dow, M.P.H., both epidemiologists with the Center for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health at INSERM in Villejuif, France, and colleagues tracked 71,334 women between 1993 and 2011. None of the women had diabetes at baseline. Dietary questionnaires revealed consumption habits regarding several types of fatty acids, including arachidonic acid (AA),docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). The top third of fatty acid consumers took in an average of more than 1.6 g of fatty acids per day (including all types). The bottom third consumed less than 1.3 g per day.

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Women in the highest total consumption group were found to have a 26 percent greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes than those in the bottom group. Diabetes risk rose 19 percent for overweight women in the highest consumption group, compared with those in the lowest consumption group. By contrast, normal-weight women saw their relative risk go up 38 percent.

DPA was linked with a 45 percent increase among normal-weight women and a 54 percent increase for overweight women in the highest consumption group, compared to those in the lowest. In the highest consumption group, AA was associated with a 50 percent increased risk for normal-weight women and a 74 percent increased risk for overweight women, compared with the lowest consumers. By contrast, ALA was not linked to any increase in diabetes risk among normal-weight women. And among overweight women, ALA was linked to a relative increase of 17 percent among the highest consumption group. The researchers noted that meat was the largest source of both DPA and AA, making up 31.3 and 42.7 percent of the food intake for each respective fatty acid.

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