Age of onset of obesity and risk of type 2 diabetes

Stephanie K. Tanamas, Evelyn Wong, Kathryn Backholer, Asnawi Abdullah, Rory Wolfe, Jan Barendregt, Anna Peeters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To compare a simple measure - age of onset of obesity - to an obese-years construct (a product of duration and magnitude of obesity) as risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Method: Participants from the Framingham Heart Study who were not obese and did not have diabetes at baseline were included (n=4,320). The Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) was computed to compare four Cox proportional hazards models with incident diabetes as the outcome and: (i) obese-years; (ii) age of onset of obesity; (iii) body mass index (BMI); and (iv) age of onset of obesity plus magnitude of BMI combined, as exposures. Results: AIC indicated that the model with obese-years provided a more effective explanation of incidence of type 2 diabetes compared to the remaining three models. Models including age of onset of obesity plus BMI were not appreciably different from the model with BMI alone, except in those aged ≥60. Conclusions: While obese-years was the optimal obesity construct to explain risk of type 2 diabetes, age of onset may be a useful, practical addition to current BMI in the elderly. Implications: Where computation of obese-years is not possible or impractical, age of onset of obesity combined with BMI may provide a useful alternative.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-581
Number of pages3
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • age of onset
  • body mass index
  • obese-years
  • obesity
  • type 2 diabetes

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