Adolescent Build and Diabetes: The Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • CM Schooling
  • C Jiang
  • W Zhang
  • TH Lam
  • GM Leung


PURPOSE: With economic development, there is an emerging epidemic of diabetes in China despite relatively low levels of obesity. Muscle mass, for which adolescence is a key developmental window, may reduce vulnerability to diabetes. We examined the association of recalled adolescent build with diabetes in a large sample from the developing country setting of southern China. METHODS: We used multivariable regression in cross-sectional data (2005-2008), from the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study (phases 2 and 3) for 19,524 (>= 50 older years) Chinese to examine the adjusted associations of recalled adolescent relative weight (light [n = 6843], average In = 95291, and heavy [n = 3152]) with clinically measured diabetes. RESULTS: As older adults, heavy adolescents had a lower risk of diabetes (odds ratio = 0.86, 95% confidence interval: 0.75-0.99) than light adolescents adjusted for age, sex, education, smoking, leg length, and seated height. This association was stronger after additional adjustment for waist/hip ratio and body mass index. CONCLUSIONS: Poor living conditions during adolescence, resulting in low muscle mass, could contribute to vulnerability to diabetes, which, if confirmed, could be relevant to the emerging epidemic of diabetes in the developing world, as well as to minorities and migrants elsewhere. Ann Epidemiol 2011;21:61-66. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-66
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Epidemiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • Muscle Mass, Chinese, Adolescent, Diabetes