Birth Weight Inversely Impacts Diabetes Risk

More weight gain than expected from 48 months to adulthood tied to impaired fasting glucose, diabetes

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Birth weight is inversely associated with adult fasting-glucose levels and with the risk of impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM), according to a study published online Nov. 18 in Diabetes Care.

Shane A. Norris, Ph.D., from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and colleagues examined the associations of birth weight and weight gain in infancy and early childhood with DM risk in 6,511 young adults from low- and middle-income countries. Weight was measured at birth, at 24 and 48 months, and in adulthood, and the deviation from expected weight gain between these ages (conditional weight gain [CWG]) was calculated.

The investigators found an inverse association for birth weight with adult fasting-glucose and the risk of IFG/DM (odds ratio [OR], 0.91 per standard deviation [SD]). Weight at 24 and 48 months and CWG at 0 to 24 and 24 to 48 months were not related to fasting-glucose or IFG/DM. CWG at 48 months to adult correlated positively with IFG/DM (OR, 1.32 per SD). Birth weight, weight at 24 to 48 months, and CWG at 0 to 24 months had inverse associations with fasting-glucose and IFG/DM, after adjusting for adult waist circumference. Birth weight had no relation with insulin resistance homeostasis model assessment (IR-HOMA), but higher CWG at 0 to 24, 24 to 48, and 48 months to adult predicted significantly higher IR-HOMA. Birth weight had an inverse association with IR-HOMA after adjusting for adult waist circumference.

"Lower birth weight and accelerated weight gain after 48 months are risk factors for adult glucose intolerance," the authors write.

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