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Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2000 Jul;49(1):53-9.

Association between birth weight and insulin sensitivity in healthy young men in Korea: role of visceral adiposity.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Asan Medical Centre, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, POB 145, Seoul, South Korea.


Recent studies have demonstrated decreased insulin sensitivity in individuals with low birth weight. This study was performed to examine whether abdominal obesity is a link between insulin resistance and low birth weight. We studied the relationships between birth weight and insulin secretion, insulin sensitivity, and various anthropometric indices including visceral fat area in 22 healthy young Korean adults. Birth weight correlated significantly with diastolic blood pressure (r=-0.47, P<0.05) and insulin sensitivity index (S(I)) measured by a frequently sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test (FSIGT) (r=0.54, P<0.05), but not with insulin secretory indices such as acute insulin responses during FSIGT (r=-0.35, NS) or hyperglycemic clamp (r=0.17, NS) and submaximum insulin response during hyperglycemic clamp (r=0.10, NS). S(I) correlated significantly with abdominal obesity measurements such as waist circumference (r=-0.48, P<0.05), waist-to-hip ratio (r=-0.53, P<0.05) and visceral fat area (r=-0.58, P<0.01). However, we could not find significant correlation between birth weight and any of the abdominal obesity measurements (r=-0.35 for waist-to-hip ratio, r=-0.22 for visceral fat area, and r=-0.24 for visceral-to-subcutaneous fat ratio; NS for all). The present data confirm that low birth weight is associated with insulin resistance in adult life. However, our data suggest that the association between low birth weight and insulin resistance is not mediated by abdominal obesity.

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