A greater obesity duration is associated with worse values for all cardiometabolic disease factors, according to a new study published recently in PLOS Medicine by Tom Norris of Loughborough University, UK, and colleagues.
People with obesity do not all share the same risk for the development of cardiometabolic disease risk factors. The duration a person has spent with obesity over their lifetime has been hypothesised to affect this variation.
More years of obesity was associated with worse values for all measured cardiometabolic risk factors. The association was particularly strong for glycated haemoglobin, or HbA1c; those with less than five years of obesity had a 5% higher HbA1c compared to people with no years of obesity, while those with 20 to 30 years of obesity had a 20% higher HbA1c compared to people with no obesity. Importantly, this increased risk persisted when adjustment was made for a robust measure of life course obesity severity.
The findings suggest that health policy recommendations aimed at preventing early obesity onset, and therefore reducing lifetime exposure, may help reduce risk of diabetes, independently of obesity severity.