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Diabetes incidence in Austria: The role of famines on diabetes and related NCDs

Undernutrition in early life associates with increased risk for type 2 diabetes in later life. Whether similar associations hold for other diseases remains unclear. We aim to quantify how perinatal exposure to famines relates to the risk of becoming incident with type 2 diabetes in later life.

Using population-wide medical claims data for Austrians aged >50y, yearly diabetes incidence was measured in an epidemiological progression model. We find incidence rates that increase from 2013 to 2017 and observe two famine-related birth cohorts of 5,887 patients with incidence rate increases for diabetes of up to 78% for males and 59% for females compared to cohorts born two years earlier. These cohorts show increased risks for multiple other diagnoses as well.

Public health efforts to decrease diabetes must not only focus on lifestyle factors but also emphasize the importance of reproductive health and adequate nutrition during pregnancy and early postnatal life.

M. Kaleta, M. Leutner, S Thurner, A. Kautzky, G. Endel, N. Kiss, M. Robausch, A. Kautzky-Willer, P. Klimek, Diabetes incidence in Austria: The role of famines on diabetes and related NCDs, Helyion Volume 9, Issue 7, July 2023, e17570.


Michaela Kaleta

Stefan Thurner @ Franziska Liehl, President of the Complexity Science Hub

Stefan Thurner

Peter Klimek, Faculty member at the Complexity Science Hub

Peter Klimek

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