Because declines in acute insulin response (AIR) and insulin action ( M) predict development of type 2 diabetes, we sought to determine childhood factors that predict insulin action and AIR using longitudinal data from young Pima Indian adults with normal glucose regulation.
Predictors of adult M, measured by the euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp, and AIR, measured after a 25-g glucose bolus, were assessed in 76 individuals from a set of childhood data (BMI, systolic blood pressure [sBP] and diastolic blood pressure, cholesterol, fasting and 2-h insulin, and glucose levels during an oral glucose tolerance test).
After adjustment for sex, adult percent body fat, adult and childhood age, childhood BMI, and sBP were negative and independent predictors of adult M. A 5 kg/m 2 increase in childhood BMI was associated with a 7.4% decrease in adult insulin action (95% CI −12.7 to −1.8%, P = 0.01) and a 10-mmHg increase in childhood sBP with a 5.0% decrease in adult M (95% CI −8.4 to −1.4%, P = 0.007). After a similar adjustment with M as an additional covariate, childhood 2-h insulin was a positive predictor of adult AIR such that a 25% increase predicted a 7.3% increase in adult AIR (95% CI 1.5–13.5%, P = 0.014).
Childhood insulin response during an oral glucose challenge predicts adult AIR, indicating that β-cell capacity may be set early in life. Childhood measures related to adiposity predict adult insulin action, which may reflect common underlying mechanisms that may be amenable to modification through programs targeting prevention or treatment of childhood obesity.