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Lean body mass and risk of type 2 diabetes - a Danish cohort study

  • Christine Friis BakerEmail author
  • Kim Overvad
  • Christina Catherine Dahm
Research article

Abstract

Purpose

Excess body fat is a commonly known risk factor for type 2 diabetes. However, whether lean body mass, or fat free mass, could have a protective effect against type 2 diabetes, remains unclear. The aim of this study was to explore the association between lean body mass, fat mass and type 2 diabetes.

Methods

This study used data from the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort of 37,053 men and women, aged 50–64 years at baseline (1993–1997). The exposure was measurements of body composition using bioelectrical impedance analysis. Incident diabetes during follow-up was determined through linkage to the Danish National Diabetes Register. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was used to estimate HR and 95%CI for the association between lean body mass and incident type 2 diabetes, with and without adjustment for fat mass. A sensitivity analysis was performed, excluding cases of incident type 2 diabetes within the first 2 years of follow-up.

Results

When adjusted for fat mass, the main analysis showed non-linear inverse association between lean body mass and risk of diabetes for men, but not for women. However, the sensitivity analysis found no association for either men or women.

Conclusions

Lean body mass was not associated with incident type 2 diabetes when excluding cases that may have been subclinical at baseline. The results imply that public health should focus on reduction of fat mass for diabetes prevention.

Keywords

Type 2 diabetes Lean body mass Fat mass Body composition 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declared that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public HealthAarhus UniversityAarhus CDenmark
  2. 2.Department of CardiologyAalborg University HospitalAalborgDenmark

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