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BMJ. 2002 Aug 17;325(7360):359.

Birth weight of offspring and insulin resistance in late adulthood: cross sectional survey.

Author information

  • 1Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 2PR. d.a.lawlor@bristol.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the association between birth weight of offspring and mothers' insulin resistance in late adulthood.

DESIGN:

Cross sectional survey.

SETTING:

General practitioner's surgeries in 23 towns in Great Britain.

PARTICIPANTS:

4286 women aged 60-79 years.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Maternal insulin resistance.

RESULTS:

Birth weight of offspring was inversely related to maternal insulin resistance in late adulthood. For each 1 kg higher birth weight of offspring, women had a 15% reduction in the odds of being in the fourth with highest insulin resistance, compared to other fourths (odds ratio 0.85; 95% confidence interval 0.71 to 1.00). This increased to 27% (0.73; 0.60 to 0.90) after adjusting data for potential confounders. A U shaped relation between birth weight of offspring and diabetes in older age was found; women with the lightest and heaviest offspring had the highest prevalence of diabetes.

CONCLUSIONS:

Birth weight of offspring is inversely related to the mother's insulin resistance in late adulthood, despite the association of glucose intolerance during pregnancy with heavier offspring at birth. Common genetic factors contribute to the relation between birth weight and risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes in adults.

PMID:
12183306
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC117884
Free PMC Article
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