evidence-based blog of Filippo Dibari

Famine Exposure in the Young and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Adulthood (n=7,837)

In Under-nutrition on September 28, 2012 at 9:26 am

Annet F.M. van AbeelenSjoerd G. EliasPatrick M.M. BossuytDiederick E. GrobbeeYvonne T. van der SchouwTessa J. Roseboom and Cuno S.P.M. Uiterwaal

in Diabetes. 2012 Sep;61(9):2255-60

Abstract

The developmental origins hypothesis proposes that undernutrition during early development is associated with an increased type 2 diabetes risk in adulthood.

We investigated the association between undernutrition during childhood and young adulthood and type 2 diabetes in adulthood. We studied 7,837 women from Prospect-EPIC (European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition) who were exposed to the 1944-1945 Dutch famine when they were between age 0 and 21 years. We used Cox proportional hazards regression models to explore the effect of famine on the risk of subsequent type 2 diabetes in adulthood. We adjusted for potential confounders, including age at famine exposure, smoking, and level of education.

Self-reported famine exposure during childhood and young adulthood was associated with an increased type 2 diabetes risk in a dose-dependent manner. In those who reported moderate famine exposure, the age-adjusted type 2 diabetes hazard ratio (HR) was 1.36 (95% CI [1.09-1.70]); in those who reported severe famine exposure, the age-adjusted HR was 1.64 (1.26-2.14) relative to unexposed women. These effects did not change after adjustment for confounders.

This study provides the first direct evidence, using individual famine exposure data, that a short period of moderate or severe undernutrition during postnatal development increases type 2 diabetes risk in adulthood.

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