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Two Trajectories of Childhood Growth for Type 2 Diabetes

Both start with low weight and BMI at birth; rapid BMI increase in childhood in one pathway

WEDNESDAY, July 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Two trajectories of growth correlate with development of type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in the August issue of the Journal of Internal Medicine.

Johan G. Eriksson, M.D., D.M.Sc., from the University of Helsinki in Finland, and colleagues examined trajectories of childhood growth associated with type 2 diabetes. Data were included for 13,345 individuals born in Helsinki between 1934 and 1944. Childhood growth had been recorded in detail; 11.7 percent of participants were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

The researchers identified two pathways of growth in association with type 2 diabetes, both of which started with low weight and body mass index (BMI) at birth. In one, low BMI persisted through infancy and was followed by a rapid increase during childhood. For individuals with a BMI above the median value at 11 years, the odds ratio was 1.31 for type 2 diabetes associated with a one z-score increase in BMI between 2 and 11 years. The second pathway exhibited low BMI and short length at birth, with low BMI persisting through childhood. This trajectory was seen for most women who developed type 2 diabetes; compared with women with a BMI above the median at age 11, they developed type 2 diabetes at a lower BMI and lower fat percentage.

“Because there are different early triggers to the development of type 2 diabetes, there are several windows of opportunity for the prevention of the disease during early life,” the authors write.

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