WEDNESDAY, Nov. 14, 2007 (HealthDay News) -- The development of type 2 diabetes in adults can be predicted in childhood, according to a U.S. study that's followed a group of 814 children and adults since 1973.
Researchers at the Cincinnati Children'sHospital Medical Center found that parental history of diabetes, as well as the presence of metabolic syndrome in childhood were major predictors of type 2 diabetes in adulthood. The finding was particularly true for black American men and women, the researchers report.
People with metabolic syndrome have at least three of the following health issues: high blood pressure; high triglycerides; high body mass; high blood glucose; and low levels of "good" high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
"Pediatricians and family physicians should evaluate children and adolescents for metabolic syndrome and whether there is a family history of diabetes," study lead author John Morrison said in a prepared statement. "We need to identify in childhood those who are at risk of adult metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes to prevent these outcomes."
He also noted that adult body mass index (BMI) was strongly associated with BMI in childhood and adolescence -- 63 percent of study participants at risk of being overweight in the 1970s were obese 25 to 30 years later.
"A positive parental history of diabetes was also strongly associated with overweight status in both childhood and adulthood," Morrison said.
The study was published in the online edition of The Journal of Pediatrics and was expected to published in a future print issue of the journal.
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more about diabetes prevention.