Background: Metabolically healthy obese (MHO) is regarded as a transient concept. We examined the effect of the dynamic change of metabolic health status on the incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) both in obese and normal weight individuals. Methods: We analyzed 3,479,514 metabolically healthy subjects aged over 20 years from the Korean National Health Screening Program, who underwent health examination between 2009 and 2010, with a follow-up after 4 years. The relative risk for T2DM incidence until the December 2017 was compared among the four groups: stable metabolically healthy normal weight (MHNW), unstable MHNW, stable MHO, and unstable MHO. Results: During the 4 years, 11.1% of subjects in the MHNW group, and 31.5% in the MHO group converted to a metabolically unhealthy phenotype. In the multivariate adjusted model, the unstable MHO group showed the highest risk of T2DM (hazard ratio [HR], 4.67; 95% confidence interval [CI], 4.58 to 4.77). The unstable MHNW group had a higher risk of T2DM than stable MHO group ([HR, 3.23; 95% CI, 3.16 to 3.30] vs. [HR, 1.81; 95% CI, 1.76 to 1.85]). The stable MHO group showed a higher risk of T2DM than the stable MHNW group. The influence of the transition into a metabolically unhealthy phenotype on T2DM incidence was greater in subjects with aged <65 years, women, and those with weight gain. Conclusion: Metabolically healthy phenotype was transient both in normal weight and obese individuals. Maintaining metabolic health was critical for the prevention of T2DM, irrespective of their baseline body mass index.
- Diabetes mellitus, type 2
- Metabolic syndrome
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism