University of Oulu

Bjerregaard, L. G., Wasenius, N., Nedelec, R., Gjærde, L. K., Ängquist, L., Herzig, K.-H., Jensen, G. B., Mortensen, E. L., Osler, M., Overvad, K., Skaaby, T., Tjønneland, A., Sørensen, T. I. A., Järvelin, M.-R., Eriksson, J. G., Sebert, S., & Baker, J. L. (2020). Possible Modifiers of the Association Between Change in Weight Status From Child Through Adult Ages and Later Risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care, 43(5), 1000–1007.

Possible modifiers of the association between change in weight status from child through adult ages and later risk of type 2 diabetes

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Author: Bjerregaard, Lise G1; Wasenius, Niko2,3; Nedelec, Rozenn4,5;
Organizations: 1Center for Clinical Research and Prevention, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospital, Frederiksberg, Denmark
2Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
3Folkhälsan Research Center, Helsinki, Finland
4Centre for Life Course Health Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
6Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, Human Genomics and Metagenomics in Metabolism, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
7Research Unit of Biomedicine, Department of Physiology and Biocenter Oulu, Medical Research Center, University of Oulu, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
8Department of Gastroenterology and Metabolism, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland
9The Copenhagen City Heart Study, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospital, Frederiksberg, Denmark
10Department of Public Health and Center for Healthy Aging, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
11Section of Epidemiology, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
12Section for Epidemiology, Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
13Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Copenhagen, Denmark
14Section of Environmental Health, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
15Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, U.K.
16Department of Life Sciences, College of Health and Life Sciences, Brunel University London, London, U.K.
17Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore
18Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences, Agency for Science, Technology, and Research, Singapore
19Department of Genomics of Complex Diseases, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, U.K.
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: American Diabetes Association, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-12-14


Objective: We investigated the association between changes in weight status from childhood through adulthood and subsequent type 2 diabetes risks and whether educational attainment, smoking, and leisure time physical activity (LTPA) modify this association.

Research design and methods: Using data from 10 Danish and Finnish cohorts including 25,283 individuals, childhood BMI at 7 and 12 years was categorized as normal or high using age- and sex-specific cutoffs (<85th or ≥85th percentile). Adult BMI (20–71 years) was categorized as nonobese or obese (<30.0 or ≥30.0 kg/m², respectively). Associations between BMI patterns and type 2 diabetes (989 women and 1,370 men) were analyzed using Cox proportional hazards regressions and meta-analysis techniques.

Results: Compared with individuals with a normal BMI at 7 years and without adult obesity, those with a high BMI at 7 years and adult obesity had higher type 2 diabetes risks (hazard ratio [HR]girls 5.04 [95% CI 3.92–6.48]; HRboys 3.78 [95% CI 2.68–5.33]). Individuals with a high BMI at 7 years but without adult obesity did not have a higher risk (HRgirls 0.74 [95% CI 0.52–1.06]; HRboys 0.93 [95% CI 0.65–1.33]). Education, smoking, and LTPA were associated with diabetes risks but did not modify or confound the associations with BMI changes. Results for 12 years of age were similar.

Conclusions: A high BMI in childhood was associated with higher type 2 diabetes risks only if individuals also had obesity in adulthood. These associations were not influenced by educational and lifestyle factors, indicating that BMI is similarly related to the risk across all levels of these factors.

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Series: Diabetes care
ISSN: 0149-5992
ISSN-E: 1935-5548
ISSN-L: 0149-5992
Volume: 43
Issue: 5
Pages: 1000 - 1007
DOI: 10.2337/dc19-1726
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
Funding: The Diet, Cancer and Health study was funded by the Danish Cancer Society. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grants 633595 DynaHEALTH, 733206 LifeCycle, and 824989 EUCANCONNECT; the Joint Programming Initiative: A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life Netherlands grant agreement P75416 PREcisE; and Novo Nordisk Foundation grant NNF17OC0028338. NFBC1966 received financial support from University of Oulu grants 65354 and 24000692; Oulu University Hospital grants 2/97, 8/97, and 24301140; Ministry of Health and Social Affairs grants 23/251/97, 160/97, and 190/97; National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki grant 54121; Regional Institute of Occupational Health, Oulu, Finland grants 50621 and 54231; and ERDF European Regional Development Fund grant 539/2010 A31592.
EU Grant Number: (633595) DYNAHEALTH - Understanding the dynamic determinants of glucose homeostasis and social capability to promote Healthy and active aging
(733206) LIFECYCLE - Early-life stressors and LifeCycle health
(824989) EUCAN-Connect - A federated FAIR platform enabling large-scale analysis of high-value cohort data connecting Europe and Canada in personalized health
Copyright information: © 2020 by the American Diabetes Association may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. More information is available at