Data on the lifetime risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) incidence across different cardiovascular health (CVH) categories are scarce. Moreover, it remains unclear whether a genetic predisposition modifies this association.
Methods and results
Using data from the prospective population-based Rotterdam Study, a CVH score (body mass index, blood pressure, total cholesterol, smoking status, diet, and physical activity) was calculated and further categorized at baseline. Genetic predisposition to T2D was assessed and divided into tertiles by creating a genetic risk score (GRS). We estimated the lifetime risk for T2D within different CVH and GRS categories. Among 5993 individuals free of T2D at baseline [mean (standard deviation) age, 69.1 (8.5) years; 58% female], 869 individuals developed T2D during follow-up. At age 55 years, the remaining lifetime risk of T2D was 22.6% (95% CI: 19.4–25.8) for ideal, 28.3% (25.8–30.8) for intermediate, and 32.6% (29.0–36.2) for poor CVH. After further stratification by GRS tertiles, the lifetime risk for T2D was still the lowest for ideal CVH in the lowest GRS tertiles [21.5% (13.7–29.3)], in the second GRS tertile [20.8% (15.9–25.8)], and in the highest tertile [23.5% (18.5–28.6)] when compared with poor and intermediate CVH.
Our results highlight the importance of favourable CVH in preventing T2D among middle-aged individuals regardless of their genetic predisposition.