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 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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing