HealthDay News — For autoantibody-positive relatives of patients with type 1 diabetes, elevated body mass index (BMI) is associated with increased risk of progression to type 1 diabetes, especially for those aged younger than 12 years, according to a study published online in Diabetes Care.
Christine Therese Ferrara, MD, from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues studied 1,117 children in the TrialNet Pathway to Prevention cohort, which comprised autoantibody-positive relatives of patients with type 1 diabetes. A cumulative excess BMI (ceBMI) index was generated using longitudinally accumulated BMI above the 85th age- and sex-adjusted percentile. Sex- and age-specific ceBMI thresholds were examined for type 1 diabetes risk.
The researchers found that higher ceBMI conferred significantly elevated risk of progression to type 1 diabetes. In children aged younger than 12 years, the increased diabetes risk occurred at lower ceBMI values, compared with older subjects, and in females versus males.
“Elevated BMI is associated with increased risk of diabetes progression in pediatric autoantibody-positive relatives, but the effect varies by sex and age,” the authors write.
Ferrara CT, Geyer SM, Liu Y-F, et al. Excess BMI in childhood: a modifiable risk factor for type 1 diabetes development [published online February 15]. Diabetes Care. doi: 10.2337/dc16-2331