THURSDAY, Aug. 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) — High variability in body mass index (BMI) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) during childhood are associated with an increased risk for later-life diabetes, according to a study published online July 18 in Diabetes Care.

Tingting Du, from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China, and colleagues evaluated whether or not intraindividual cardiovascular risk factor variability during childhood or adolescence is an independent predictor of later-life diabetes (mean follow-up, 20.5 years). The analysis included 1,718 people who participated in the Bogalusa Heart Study and had at least four measurements during childhood (ages 4 to 19 years).

The researchers found that increased variability in BMI or HDL-C during childhood was significantly positively associated with later-life diabetes risk independent of participants’ respective mean levels in childhood and other possible confounding factors. High childhood BMI variability and high childhood HDL-C variability had similar associations with diabetes risk. When adjusting for other factors, other cardiovascular risk factors, including systolic and diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, were not significantly associated with diabetes.

“A snapshot or a few measurements of cardiovascular risk factors may not fully characterize an individual’s phenotype of cardiovascular risk factors throughout childhood that are linked to diabetes later in life,” the authors write.

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