Short Stature and the Risk of Adiposity, Insulin Resistance, and Type 2 Diabetes in Middle Age: The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), 1988-1994
OBJECTIVE -To investigate the association between stature-related measurements (height, leg length, and leg length-to-height ratio) and adiposity, insulin resistance, and glucose intolerance. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS -We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of a nationally representative sample of 7,424 adults aged 40 -74 years, from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1988 -1994). The main outcome measures were percent body fat, homeostasis model assessment of
... ssessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), and glucose intolerance based on the World Health Organization's 1985 criteria for an oral glucose tolerance test. RESULTS -Shorter height and leg length, and lower leg length-to-height ratio, were associated with higher percent body fat, especially in women. Lower leg length-to-height ratio was associated with greater insulin resistance estimated by HOMA-IR. In multinomial regression models adjusting for potential confounders, including percent body fat, the relative prevalence of type 2 diabetes per 1-SD lower values in height, leg length, and leg length-to-height ratio were 1.10 (95% CI 0.94 -0.29), 1.17 (0.98 -1.39), and 1.19 (1.02-1.39), respectively. CONCLUSIONS -Our study supports the hypothesis that adult markers of prepubertal growth, especially leg length-to-height ratio, are associated with adiposity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes in the general U.S. population. Abbreviations: HOMA-IR, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance; IGT, impaired glucose tolerance; NHANES III, Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey; OGTT, oral glucose tolerance test. A table elsewhere in this issue shows conventional and Système International (SI) units and conversion factors for many substances.