We aimed to investigate how body weight fluctuation affects the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by conducting a nationwide cohort study. A total of 3,855,884 participants from the National Health Insurance System health check-up data from 2012 were included in this study, and follow-up continued until 2016. Body weight was measured at least thrice between 2009 and 2012. Body weight variability (BWV) was estimated using average successive variability (ASV) indices. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to evaluate the association of BWV with the risk of type 2 diabetes using hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Body weight fluctuation was associated with a higher risk of incident diabetes after adjustment for confounders (HR 1.10, 95% CI 1.07, 1.12 in the highest BWV quartile compared to the lowest). Regardless of the weight change status, the highest ASV quartile of BWV increased the risk for diabetes. Even subjects with a normal glucose tolerance status and those aged under 65 years had a higher risk of diabetes if their body weight highly fluctuated during the follow-up years. Our results suggest that body weight variability is an independent risk factor for diabetes. It is important to pay attention to frequent body weight fluctuations.
Keywords: average successive variability; body weight fluctuation; cohort study; type 2 diabetes; weight change.