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Diabetologia. 2009 Mar;52(3):408-14. doi: 10.1007/s00125-008-1244-0. Epub 2009 Jan 8.

Childhood BMI trajectories and the risk of developing young adult-onset diabetes.

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Diabetes Unit, Department of Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention, National Public Health Institute, Mannerheimintie 166, 00300, Helsinki, Finland.



The aim of this study was to examine the effects of childhood BMI growth dynamics on the risk of developing young adult-onset type 1 and type 2 diabetes.


Finnish national healthcare registers were used to identify individuals with diabetes diagnosed between 1992 and 1996 at 15-39 years of age. Non-diabetic control participants were chosen from the National Population Registry. Anthropometric measurements were obtained from the original child welfare clinic records. Only the case-control pairs with sufficient growth data recorded were included in the analyses (218/1,388 for type 1 diabetes [16%] and 64/1,121 for type 2 diabetes [6%]). Two developmental stages in BMI growth (the points of infancy maximum BMI and the BMI rebound) were examined, and conditional logistic regression was applied to the variables of interest.


The risk for type 1 diabetes increased 1.19-fold per 1 kg/m(2) rise in the infancy maximum BMI (p = 0.02). In addition, there was a 1.77-fold increase in the risk for type 2 diabetes per 1 kg/m(2) rise in the level of BMI at the BMI rebound (p = 0.04). Higher values of BMI at these points corresponded to a larger BMI gain from birth to that developmental stage. Age at the infancy maximum BMI or age at the BMI rebound did not affect the risk for either type of diabetes.


The BMI gain in infancy among individuals who subsequently developed young adult-onset type 1 diabetes was faster than that of those who remained healthy. The excess BMI gain in individuals who developed young adult-onset type 2 diabetes could already be seen during early childhood.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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