Excessively High BMI in Adolescents Associated with Increased Risk of Type 1 Diabetes in Early Adulthood

Type 1 diabetes, once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Insulin is a hormone needed to allow sugar (glucose) to enter cells to produce energy.

There are many known factors that can increase the risk of developing type 1 diabetes, among them are some genetic predispositions and virus infections. 

According to studies, there is also an association between an increased BMI and the risk of developing type 1 diabetes. Because of this a group of researchers from Israel recently published a study, in which they evaluated Israeli adolescents undergoing medical evaluations in preparation for mandatory military conscription between 1996 and 2016. The results appear in the journal Diabetologia. 

Higher BMI Associated with 25% Increased Risk of Type 1 Diabetes

The researchers found a total of 777 incident cases of type 1 diabetes during 15,819,750 person-years of the study and found that an excessively high BMI in otherwise healthy adolescents was associated with an increased risk of type 1 diabetes in early adulthood, with each increment in BMI standard deviation associated with a 25% greater risk compared to adolescents with a normal BMI. 

The study showed once more the importance of maintaining a healthy body weight during childhood and adolescence in order to prevent the development of conditions such as type 1 diabetes, a condition that has a tremendous impact on the health of millions of patients worldwide. 


Zucker, I., Zloof, Y., Bardugo, A. et al. Obesity in late adolescence and incident type 1 diabetes in young adulthood. Diabetologia (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-022-05722-5 


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