Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Diabetologia. 2012 Jun;55(6):1679-84. doi: 10.1007/s00125-012-2500-x. Epub 2012 Feb 24.

Arm length is associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus in Japanese-Americans.

Author information

  • 1Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition, Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.



The aim of the study was to examine the association of type 2 diabetes mellitus with arm length as a marker for early life environment and development.


This was a cross-sectional analysis of 658 second- and third-generation Japanese-Americans (349 men and 309 women). Different arm length (total, upper and forearm length) and leg length (total and lower leg length) measurements were performed. Type 2 diabetes was defined by the use of hypoglycaemic medication, fasting plasma glucose (FPG) ≥ 7 mmol/l or glucose at 2 h ≥ 11.1 mmol/l during an OGTT. Persons meeting the criteria for impaired glucose tolerance were excluded from these analyses (FPG <7 mmol/l and 2 h glucose during an OGGT <11.1 but ≥ 7.8 mmol/l). Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate associations between prevalence of diabetes and limb length while adjusting for possible confounders.


A total of 145 individuals had diabetes. On univariate analysis, arm and leg length were not associated with diabetes. After adjustment for age, sex, computed tomography-measured intra-abdominal fat area, height, weight, smoking status and family history of diabetes, total arm length and upper arm length were inversely related to diabetes (OR for a 1 SD increase 0.49, 95% CI 0.29, 0.84 for total arm length, and OR 0.56, 95% CI 0.36, 0.87 for upper arm length). Forearm length, height and leg length were not associated with diabetes after adjustment for confounding variables.


Our findings of associations between arm lengths and prevalence of type 2 diabetes supports a role for factors that determine bone growth or their correlates in the development of this condition.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center