Objective: HbA1c is associated with cardiovascular risk in persons without diabetes and cardiovascular risk accumulates over the life course. Therefore, insight in factors determining HbA1c from childhood onwards is important. We investigated (lifestyle) determinants of HbA1c at age 12 years and the effects of growth on change in HbA1c and the tracking of HbA1c between the age of 8 and 12 years. Study Design and Methods: Anthropometric measurements were taken and HbA1c levels were assessed in 955 children without diabetes aged around 12 years participating in the PIAMA birth cohort study. In 363 of these children HbA1c was also measured at age 8 years. Data on parents and children were collected prospectively by questionnaires. Results: We found no significant association between known risk factors for diabetes and HbA1c at age 12 years. Mean(SD) change in HbA1c between ages 8 and 12 years was 0.6(0.7) mmol/mol per year (or 0.1(0.1) %/yr). Anthropometric measures at age 8 and their change between age 8 and 12 years were not associated with the change in HbA1c. 68.9% of the children remained in the same quintile or had an HbA1c one quintile higher or lower at age 8 years compared to age 12 years. Conclusion: The lack of association between known risk factors for diabetes and HbA1c suggest that HbA1c in children without diabetes is relatively unaffected by factors associated with glycaemia. HbA1c at age 8 years is by far the most important predictor of HbA1c at age 12. Therefore, the ranking of HbA1c levels appear to be fairly stable over time.

doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0119615, hdl.handle.net/1765/78913
Department of Pediatrics

Jansen, H., Wijga, A., Scholtens, S., Koppelman, G., Postma, D., Brunekreef, B., … Stolk, R. (2015). Change in HbA1c levels between the age of 8 years and the age of 12 years in Dutch children without diabetes. PLoS ONE, 10(4). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0119615