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03-27-2020 | Risk factors | News

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Boys’ puberty age linked to later type 2 diabetes risk

Author: Eleanor McDermid

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medwireNews: The age of boys at puberty is associated with their risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life, say researchers.

Jenny Kindblom (Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden) and team found an inverse relationship between the risk for type 2 diabetes in adulthood and age at peak height velocity, a marker of pubertal timing.

This relationship was identified among 30,697 men participating in the BMI Epidemiology Study Gothenburg and, importantly, was independent of prepubertal BMI, assessed at age 8 years, and was strongest for diabetes that developed relatively early in life.

Specifically, each year younger at puberty was associated with a significant 28% increased risk for developing diabetes early, by the median onset age of 57.2 years, and with a smaller but still significant 13% increased risk for developing it at an older age. These associations persisted after adjustment for birthweight and education level.

However, further adjustment for BMI at age 20 years weakened the associations, so that there remained a significant 16% increase in early diabetes risk per year younger at puberty, but the association with developing diabetes at an older age lost statistical significance.

“One may speculate that early puberty leads to the accumulation of visceral fat, and thereby increased cardiometabolic risk,” write the researchers in Diabetologia.

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2020 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature group

Diabetologia 2020; doi:10.1007/s00125-020-05121-8

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