The differential impact of adverse childhood experiences in the development of pre-diabetes in a longitudinal cohort of US adults

J Diabetes Complications. 2018 Nov;32(11):1018-1024. doi: 10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2018.09.006. Epub 2018 Sep 15.


Background: ACEs have a dose-response relationship with diabetes. The relationship between ACEs and pre-diabetes is not well known and may represent an effective area for prevention efforts.

Methods: Data from 1054 participants from two waves of the longitudinal MIDUS study were used. Multivariate general linear regression models assessed the relationship between ACEs and biomarker outcomes. Correlation tests and mediation models investigated the relationship between ACE and pre-diabetes.

Results: Individuals reporting ACEs were statistically significantly more likely to have higher BMI (1.13 (0.34-1.92)), higher waist circumference (2.74 (0.72-4.76)), elevated blood fasting insulin levels (2.36 (0.71-4.02)) and higher insulin resistance (HOMA-IR (0.57 (0.08-1.06)). BMI/waist circumference and insulin resistance did not maintain independent relationships with ACEs once HOMA-IR was included in the dichotomized ACE model (p = 0.05 and p = 0.06, respectively), suggesting the relationship between BMI and ACEs may be mediated by insulin resistance.

Conclusions: These results represent one of the first studies to examine the differential impact of ACEs on a diverse set of clinical pre-diabetes measures. Findings suggest sexual and physical abuse, and financial strain during childhood are important factors associated with higher risk for pre-diabetes, and should be considered during intervention development.

Keywords: Adverse childhood experiences; Body Mass Index; Insulin resistance; Longitudinal; Pre-diabetes.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences / statistics & numerical data*
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prediabetic State / epidemiology*
  • United States / epidemiology