(HealthDay News) — Individuals who experience childhood adversity have a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes in early adulthood, according to a study published online in Diabetologia.

Leonie K. Elsenburg, from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and colleagues assessed whether childhood adversity is related to incident type 2 diabetes in early adulthood (16 to 38 years). The analysis included nationwide register data of 1.28 million individuals born in Denmark between 1980 and 2001 who were still living in Denmark and did not have diabetes at age 16 years. Five childhood adversity groups were defined based on yearly exposure to childhood adversities (during ages 0 to 15 years) across 3 dimensions: material deprivation, loss or threat of loss, and family dynamics.

The researchers found that the risk for type 2 diabetes was higher in all childhood adversity groups among both men and women versus the low adversity group. Specifically, the risk was higher in the high adversity group across the 3 dimensions of material deprivation, loss or threat of loss, and family dynamics for both men (hazard ratio, 2.41) and women (hazard ratio, 1.58). This risk translates into 36.2 additional cases of type 2 diabetes per 100,000 person-years among men and 18.6 among women.

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“Intervening upon proximal determinants of adversity may help reduce the number of type 2 diabetes cases among young adults,” the authors write.

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