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Weight in Adolescence Tied to Early-Onset Type 2 Diabetes

May 22, 2020

Higher risk for type 2 diabetes during young adult years tied to body mass index during adolescence

FRIDAY, May 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Obesity in adolescence significantly increases the risk for incidence of type 2 diabetes in early adulthood in both sexes, according to a study published online April 22 in Diabetes Care.

Gilad Twig, M.D., Ph.D., from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and colleagues investigated the association of adolescent obesity with incident type 2 diabetes at early adulthood using nationwide data from 1,462,362 adolescents (59 percent men; mean age, 17.4 years) from 1996 to 2016.


The researchers identified 2,177 people (69 percent men) who developed type 2 diabetes (mean age at diagnosis, 27 years). When adjusting for sociodemographic variables, the hazard ratios for diabetes diagnosis were 1.7 among men in the 50th to 74th percentile for body mass index (BMI), 2.8 for men in the 75th to 84th percentile, 5.8 for overweight men, 13.4 for men with mild obesity, and 25.8 for men with severe obesity. For women, the corresponding hazard ratios were 2.2, 3.4, 10.6, 21.1, and 44.7. The proportion of adult-onset type 2 diabetes attributed to high BMI (≥85th percentile) in adolescence was 56.9 percent in men and 61.1 percent in women.

“The rise in adolescent severe obesity is likely to increase diabetes incidence in young adults in coming decades,” the authors write.

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