The Association Between Social Support, Body Mass Index and Increased Risk of Prediabetes: the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study
The psychosocial determinants of prediabetes are poorly understood. The aims of our study were (1) to analyse the association between perceived social support in young adulthood and fasting glucose levels and prediabetes in mid-adulthood in a cohort of healthy Finns, (2) to explore whether body mass index (BMI), inflammation or depression mediate this relationship, (3) and to examine the association between social support trajectory groups and fasting glucose.
A prospective design was used with an analytic sample of 1250 participants aged 3–18 years at baseline (1980) and aged 12–39 years when social support was measured. Fasting glucose and prediabetes were assessed 32 years after baseline. Linear and logistic regression was used to examine the association between social support and the outcome measures. A bootstrapping technique was used to examine mediation effects.
Social support was associated with future glucose levels in women after adjusting for childhood socioeconomic status (SES) and youth depression (β = −0.136, p = 0.001) and also predicted prediabetes in women after adjusting for childhood SES (β = 1.31, 95 % CI 1.02 to 1.69, p = 0.031). Both associations were attenuated after adjusting for BMI in mid-adulthood. BMI was found to mediate the relationship between social support and prediabetes in women (β for indirect effect β = 0.09, SE = 0.03, CI = 0.03 to 0.16).
Low perceived social support in young adulthood is associated with high fasting glucose and prediabetes in mid-adulthood in women but not men. The association between social support and prediabetes in women can be partly explained by BMI.
KeywordsFasting glucose Prediabetes Prospective study Social support Type 2 diabetes
We greatly acknowledge Irina Lisinen, Johanna Ikonen and Ville Aalto for assistance in managing the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns dataset.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
The Young Finns Study has been financially supported by the Academy of Finland: grants 126925, 121584, 124282, 129378 (Salve), 117787 (Gendi), 41071 (Skidi), 265869, 258711, 258578, 265977 and 286284; the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, Kuopio, Tampere and Turku University Hospital Medical Funds (grants 9N035 and X51001), the Juho Vainio Foundation, the Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation, the Emil Aaltonen Foundation, the Paavo Nurmi Foundation, the Finnish Foundation of Cardiovascular Research, the Finnish Cultural Foundation, the Osk. Huttunen Foundation and the Tampere Tuberculosis Foundation.
Conflict of Interest
No conflict of interest declared.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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