HealthDay News — For men, early age at puberty is associated with an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, according to a study published online March 23 in Diabetologia.

Claes Ohlsson, M.D., Ph.D., from Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, and colleagues examined the association between pubertal timing and the risk for adult type 2 diabetes in Swedish men. Data were included for 30,697 men who had body mass index (BMI) data at ages 8 and 20 years and at the age at peak height velocity (PHV), an objective assessment of pubertal timing.

The researchers observed inverse associations for age at PHV with both early and late type 2 diabetes (hazard ratios, 1.28 and 1.13, respectively, per year decrease in age at PHV). The associations were similar after adjustment for childhood BMI (hazard ratios, 1.24 and 1.11, respectively). Early age at PHV was also a predictor for insulin treatment of type 2 diabetes (odds ratio, 1.25 per year decrease in age at PHV). The population attributable factor indicated that 15 percent fewer diagnosed individuals would have developed type 2 diabetes if they had not reached puberty early, assuming a higher risk for those with an age at PHV below the median.

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“These findings strengthen the concept that early puberty is part of an adverse trajectory during childhood and adolescence, and that a high BMI both before and after puberty contributes,” a coauthor said in a statement.

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