Relation between baseline height and new diabetes development: A nationwide population-based study

Eun Jung Rhee, Jung Hwan Cho, Hyemi Kwon, Se Eun Park, Jin Hyung Jung, Kyung Do Han, Yong Gyu Park, Yang Hyun Kim, Won Young Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Short stature and leg length are associated with risk of diabetes and obesity. However, it remains unclear whether this association is observed in Asians. We evaluated the association between short stature and increased risk for diabetes using the Korean National Health Screening (KNHS) dataset. Methods: We assessed diabetes development in 2015 in 21,122,422 non-diabetic Koreans (mean age 43 years) enrolled in KNHS from 2009 to 2012 using International Classification of Diseases 10th (ICD-10) code and anti-diabetic medication prescription. Risk was measured in age- and sex-dependent quintile groups of baseline height (20 to 39, 40 to 59, ≥60 years). Results: During median 5.6-year follow-up, 532,918 cases (2.5%) of diabetes occurred. The hazard ratio (HR) for diabetes development gradually increased from the 5th (reference) to 1st quintile group of baseline height after adjustment for confounding factors (1.000, 1.076 [1.067 to 1.085], 1.097 [1.088 to 1.107], 1.141 [1.132 to 1.151], 1.234 [1.224 to 1.244]), with similar results in analysis by sex. The HR per 5 cm height increase was lower than 1.00 only in those with fasting blood glucose (FBG) below 100 mg/dL (0.979 [0.975 to 0.983]), and in lean individuals (body mass index [BMI] 18.5 to 23 kg/m2: 0.993 [0.988 to 0.998]; BMI <18.5 kg/m2: 0.918 [0.9 to 0.935]). Conclusion: Height was inversely associated with diabetes risk in this nationwide study of Korean adults. This association did not differ by sex, and was significant in lean individuals and those with normal FBG levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)794-803
Number of pages10
JournalDiabetes and Metabolism Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2019 Korean Diabetes Association.


  • Body height
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Public health
  • Risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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