Adolescent cognitive function and incident early-onset type 2 diabetes

Miri Lutski, Inbar Zucker, Aya Bardugo, Cole D. Bendor, Estela Derazne, Dorit Tzur, Deborah Novick, Itamar Raz, Orit Pinhas-Hamiel, Ofri Mosenzon, Arnon Afek, Hertzel C. Gerstein, Gilad Twig, Tali Cukierman-Yaffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Cognitive function among apparently healthy adolescents has been associated with cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. We examined the relationship between global and subdomain cognitive scores in adolescence and early-onset type 2 diabetes (T2D) in men and women. Methods: A nationwide, population-based study of 971,677 Israeli born adolescents (56% men; mean age 17.4 years) who were medically examined and their cognitive performance was assessed before compulsory military service during 1992–2010. Data included global and subdomain cognitive Z-scores (problem-solving, verbal abstraction and categorization, verbal comprehension, and mathematical abilities). Data were linked to the Israeli National Diabetes Registry. The relations between global and subdomain scores and incident T2D was determined using Cox proportional hazard models and logistic regression models. Analyses were conducted separately for men and women. Findings: During 16,095,122 person-years, 3,570 individuals developed T2D. After adjustment, those in the low compared to the high quintile of global cognitive Z-score had the highest risk for T2D; HR 2.46, (95% CI 2.10–2.88) for men and 2.33 (95% CI 1.88–2.89) for women. A one-unit lower global cognitive Z-score was associated with 1.41 (95% CI 1.34–1.48) and 1.46 (95% CI 1.36–1.56) increased risks for men and women, respectively. The relationship was noted for the cognitive subdomains scores as well as for the global cognitive score, with no heterogeneity across cognitive subdomains. Interpretation: This large nationally representative cohort suggests relationship between global, as well as subdomain cognitive scores in late adolescence, and incident early onset T2D in both sexes, which was independent of socioeconomic status. Funding: None.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101138
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Adolescent
  • Cognitive scores
  • Cognitive subdomains
  • Type 2 diabetes


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